In honor of Black History Month, Gopher Athletics is celebrating those who made us great. Throughout February, GopherSports.com will share short interviews with African-American alumni from almost every Gopher program. In these interviews, former student-athletes reflect on their time at the U of M, provide advice to current Gophers and share what Black History Month means to them personally.
Name: Lea B. Olsen
Sport(s): Women's Basketball
Years: 1987 - 90
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.
Occupation: Sports Broadcaster/Spokesperson/Speaker
Twitter Handle: @leabolsen
1) What is it you honestly miss most about the University?
Being with my teammates on a daily basis. We worked so hard and had so much fun!
2) If you could give the current student-athletes any piece of advice, what would it be?
Be in the moment because the time flies by too quickly. Take advantage of everything the University has to offer. There are so many resources right at your fingertips.
3) Please share your favorite university or athletic event you've attended since you graduated and what made it so special to you?
I enjoy going to watch the baseball team play. I didn't see them too much in college. My son is a baseball player so it has been fun to watch with him. John Anderson was here when I went to school and he continues to do a great job with the program.
4) What are you grateful for?
Super grateful to have had the opportunity to play at the U of M. People still ask me about the experience all of the time. I'm incredibly grateful for my family and all of the great friends I made back in my Gopher days.
5) What does Black History Month mean to you?
I think it's important to take time to talk about our history and Black History Month allows you a specific time to have those conversations in schools. Last year I spoke at Minneapolis Southwest H.S. about the impact that black athletes have had throughout history.
6) What occupies your time now?
Family first and foremost. Broadcasting for the Lynx, Timberwolves, boys and girls high school tournaments and some women's college basketball. I also created a platform titled "Rethink the Win" that helps athletes and parents navigate the sometimes stressful world of sports. Through speaking and interviewing athletes, I encourage athletes to get the most out of being involved in sport and to find the other wins in sport, such as teamwork, leadership and work ethic.
Please visit Black History Month Central on Gophersports.com to see more profiles.
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