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A Visit of Olympic Proportions

Saint Paul College Massage Therapy and Personal Trainer Programs received an early holiday treat.  On Monday, December 9, 2013, Olympic Triathlete and three time 2013 International Triathlon Union (ITU) cup winner Gwen Jorgensen paid not only a visit, but also provided instruction and insight for students and alumni in attendance.  The visit was a profound learning experience.

Gwen’s interest in triathlon began with a college recruitment program in 2010. As a Division 1 swimmer and runner about to graduate from college, she was interested in continuing her involvement in competitive sports. To do so, Gwen joined up with the triathlon college recruitment program through United States Triathlon Association, the governing body of Triathlon in the U.S.  Gwen won her first triathlon race and thus received her professional license. Shortly after, she joined the national triathlon team and climbed the ladder to make the 2012 London Olympic Team.  Although favored to medal, Gwen had a mechanical issue on her bike, which put her out of medal contention.  In 2013, Gwen won three of the six ITU series races and won the silver medal at the World Championship mixed relay.  Gwen’s long-term goal is to win in Rio in 2016 and marry Pat Lemieux in 2014; Gwen just got engaged three days prior to her visit.

Gwen has a strong connection to Saint Paul College. She is a personal friend of Jeremy Sartain, former triathlete and Director of Wellness and Fitness Programs at the College. Two years ago, Gwen moved to the Twin Cities from Milwaukee, WI and was looking for training resources, including massage therapists. Jeremy introduced Gwen to two alumni massage therapists from Saint Paul College who provide her with twice weekly massages. As an athlete, Gwen requires specific massage therapy services, and is impressed with the knowledge and abilities of Saint Paul College’s graduates. Over the past three years, Gwen has served as a demonstration body in the Advanced Clinical Sports Massage Programs, which provides the College’s students with hands on experience working with Olympic and Professional caliber athletes.

Gwen visited the Massage Therapy program students and received treatment from program faculty. During the massage she answered questions that students had about training, good and bad massage experiences, and how to approach athletes of her caliber. After the massage session Gwen visited Saint Paul College Personal Trainer students and led them through a functional core workout that she currently does. The workout reinforced classroom lessons, and illustrated the practical application of coursework.  After 45 minutes of working on balance and core strength exercise with Gwen, student participants were on the floor exhausted and happy. It’s not every day you get to workout with an Olympic athlete!    

This year, Saint Paul College received the honor of being ranked the #1 community college in the nation for the second time by Washington Monthly magazine. Program faculty and directors all over the college continually strive to bring in real world experience whenever possible, and ensure that when students Start Here, they can Go Anywhere. Exposing students to situations that they may encounter in their future professional careers, going above and beyond simple lessons, and fostering an environment where students are confident to ask questions are several of the reasons that Saint Paul College remains high in the rankings. And, every once in awhile you might just get to work with an Olympic Athlete. 


To receive further information on Massage Therapy, Personal Trainer, Yoga or Esthetics programs please contact Jeremy.Sartain@saintpaul.edu or call 651-846-1619.