A roomful of elementary school students erupted in cheers Friday for a rowing race that took place in 2004.
Former Olympian Ali Cox, a Turlock native, spoke with students Friday morning at the Denair Academic Avenues Charter.
At the request of her former teacher, Eric Julien, Cox spoke at the school’s weekly assembly. She recounted her experience training for the national rowing team, earning a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics and golds in the 2000 and 2002 World Championships.
After taking a few years off, Cox returned to the sport in 2010, when, she joked, “My teammates were all 12, I mean 21.” That year, she earned a bronze medal in the World Rowing Championships.
Now the owner of a marketing firm, Cox talked to the Denair students about setting and achieving goals. The four keys, she said, are setting goals, working hard, being a good teammate and focusing on the task at hand.
After she spoke to the children, Cox explained why she loves making such presentations. “I just want them to be able to walk out of the room and say, ‘Wow, she is from exactly where I’m from and she accomplished all of this. And I can, too.’ ”