Obadele well decorated
Obadele Thompson has been one of the most successful, most decorated athletes in UTEP history.
And now – even in athletic retirement – the accolades continue.Thompson was inducted into the Drake Relays Hall of Fame on Thursday night in Des Moines, Iowa.
Thompson, the Olympic medallist and NCAA champion who graduated summa cum laude from UTEP with a degree in economics and marketing, has also published a book – Secrets of a Champion Student Athlete: A Reality Check.
Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski said, “The book is a treasure for all student-athletes. Obadele shares his wisdom on how to achieve excellence on and off the field.”
Thompson had a rough draft of the book more than a year ago and talked about wanting to share his message, his journey with young people.
“I just felt like there was nothing out there like this,” Thompson said at the time.
“This is something I have experienced and I think my experience can help young people coming into college.
“There are all kinds of manuals. But there is nothing really out there about how to go through life as a student-athlete.”
He has talked of that journey so eloquently as a public speaker throughout his track and field career – and beyond. Now he is sharing the journey with the printed word.
And his journey has been a special one.
He came to El Paso and UTEP in 1993 from Barbados and set standards of excellence. He won four NCAA championships, including the prestigious 100- and 200-metre double in the 1998 NCAA Outdoor Championships. He won 16 Western Athletic Conference titles, indoors and outdoors. He won the bronze medal in the 100 metres at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. He ran fourth in the 200-metre in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.
In the classroom, Thompson was a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma, an international honour society for the top business students around the world. He was also a winner of the NCAA’s Today’s Top VIII Award, an award given to eight outstanding seniors from more than 1 300 schools (Division 1 through 3) in recognition of excellence in academics, athletics and leadership. NFL star Peyton Manning was among those eight.
The chapters in Thompson’s book speak for themselves:
# 1. Start Strong – Understanding Being a Student Athlete.
# 2. Set New Personal Bests – Getting the Best From You.
# 3. Master the Playbook – Conquering the Game by Using the Rules.
# 4. Get Ready to Spring – The Importance of Being Proactive About Your Success.
# 5. Improve Your Personal Goalkeeping – How to Set and Pursue Proper Personal Goals.
# 6. Perfect Your Personal Game Plan – Developing the Best Personal System for Success.
# 7. Watch Your Game Clock – Maximizing Your Limited Time as a Student-Athlete.
# 8. Stay “Inbounds” When You’re off the field – Making Smart “Off the Field” Choices.
# 9. Cross Train Your Brain – Ways to Improve in the Classroom.
# 10. Develop a Champion Mind-set – How to Train and Compete Like a Winner.
# 11. Prepare For the End Zone – Getting Ready for Life After Sports.
Retired UTEP track and field coach Bob Kitchens, who was inducted into the Drake Relays Hall of Fame in 1996, recruited Thompson to UTEP.
“Obadele Thompson was the very essence of what a student-athlete should and could be,” Kitchens said.(The El Paso Times)