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Team USA Olympic gold medalists to visit the Head of the Hooch this weekend

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Team USA  Amanda Polk and Lauren Schmetterling. Team USA Amanda Polk and Lauren Schmetterling.

UPDATE: Students took a break from the books to spend the morning with some very special visitors.  Rowing Olympic Gold Medalists, Amanda Polk and Lauren Schmetterling, made a stop at the Chattanooga Girl’s Leadership Academy. They spoke to students about rowing, winning, and everything in between. 

Student athletes were called into a classroom and coaches unveiled their plans on a new rowing team, and they invited some special visitors to help introduce them to the sport.

In a room full of athletes two stood out from the crowd. All eyes were on Olympic gold medalists Amanda Polk and Lauren Schmetterling. “I think it set something off in all of the girls that were here, that we will carry that with us,” said Brittney Rice a senior at the school.

The duo is in town for the annual Head of the Hooch Regatta competition. They aren't competing, but instead traveling to different schools inspiring students. “Putting myself in their shoes, going through my journey and realizing how far I have come and how I hope the give back,” said medalist Amanda Polk. Their message is simple, work hard and keep at it. Despite setbacks or failures. “Inspire them to where they can go and what they can do as long as they have goals to go after.”

They spoke about their rocky road to Rio and the importance of putting 100 percent into everything in life. “Being the best version of yourself you can possible be on a day to day basis. Be the best athlete, the best person, the best teammate,” said Lauren Schmetterling.

Students cheered as a clip played of Team USA crossing the finish line. They asked questions about what it takes to be a gold medalist and what Olympians do on their days off.  But the highlight of the morning was getting their hands on an Olympic gold medal. “It really motivated me to put in more effort to my lacrosse team,” said Junior Kadarrell Howell.

Polk and Schmetterling hope the students walked away with some life lessons. About the hard work and dedication, it takes to get gold. “Learn about diligence, focus, commitment, it was really wonderful,” said Schmetterling.

And the most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle. “Stay true to yourself, never give up, and dreams do come true,” said Polk.

If you would like to meet Amanda and Lauren they will be at the Riverfront Saturday from 1:30-2:30. They will be available for autographs. 

PREVIOUS STORY: The Head of the Hooch will host rowing royalty this weekend as Olympic gold medalists Lauren Schmetterling and Amanda Polk from TeamUSA visit the national level-regatta and local schools.

On Friday, the two athletes will be visiting local schools and organizations in Chattanooga. The duo will visit The Howard School, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy and Girls Preparatory School for a 3:30pm visit that is open to the public. 

On Saturday, they will be at the regatta site, greeting fans and signing autographs.


Friday, Nov. 4, 2016

9-10 am                     Howard School of Academics & Technology

10:15-11:30 am         Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy

3 pm                           WGOW Sport Talk

3:30-4:30 pm           Girls Preparatory School (open to public)

Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016

9-10 am                     Walk around venue

10am-Noon               Photo/Autograph session on the Chattanooga Pier (open to public)

Noon-1 pm                Lunch in the VIP tent

1-1:30 pm                  Visit vendor area

1:30-2:30 pm            Photo/Autograph session (open to public)

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