Sacred Heart Greenwich Enjoys 'Front Row Seat' To Swimming At Rio Olympics

GREENWICH, Conn. — Sacred Heart Greenwich will have a front row seat for the 2016 Summer Olympics when it follows gold medal-winning swimmer Katie Ledecky and five other Olympians from their Sacred Heart sister schools competing in Rio. 

Sacred Heart Greenwich Head of School Pamela Juan Hayes, with Olympic swimmers Katie Ledecky and Lia Neal, who both attended Sacred Heart schools.
Sacred Heart Greenwich Head of School Pamela Juan Hayes, with Olympic swimmers Katie Ledecky and Lia Neal, who both attended Sacred Heart schools. Photo Credit: Contributed

Two of the Olympian swimmers, Katie Ledecky and Lia Neal, visited Sacred Heart Greenwich in January 2013 after the London Olympics to speak with the students. 

At the time, Head of School Pamela Juan Hayes greeted them and said, “We are very proud to host these outstanding Olympic athletes and prouder still that they are Sacred Heart students.”

Fast-forward three-and-a-half years, and with a new, 35,600-square-foot athletic center, Sacred Heart students are watching these inspiring women Olympians, who as, Hayes says, “encourage our students to set personal goals and reach for the stars.” 

The connection for many is profound as students got to meet and pose for photos with Ledecky and Neal. 

In 2016, Ledecky was the youngest person on Time magazine's “Time 100 List.” At Rio, Ledecky has already won gold and set a world record in the Women's 400m freestyle and won silver in the Women's 4x100m freestyle relay. 

She still has plans to compete in: 

  • Women's 200m freestyle 
  • Women's 800m freestyle 
  • Women's 400m freestyle
  • Women's 4x100m freestyle relay

Neal also won silver in the Women's 4x100m freestyle relay with Ledecky.

The school community is continuing to follow them and will be applauding their performances in Rio. 

Sacred Heart Greenwich is part of a network of Sacred Heart schools throughout the world, founded by the Society of the Sacred Heart. An active exchange program connects the students at Greenwich with all the schools. Olympians from the Sacred Heart schools include: 

  • Katie Ledecky, the dominant Olympian swimmer from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Bethesda, Md.;
  • KK Clark, water polo player from Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton, Calif.; 
  • Lia Neal, swimmer from Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York, N.Y.; 
  • Denise Sheldon, head of the delegation for USA Volleyball from St. Joseph's and Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton, Calif.'
  • Anabelle Smith, synchronized diver from Sacred Heart, Australia; and 
  • Erin Rafuse, women's double-handed skiff--49erFX sailing races from Sacred Heart, Halifax. 
Interested in following along? Sacred Heart Greenwich is posting regularly on social media -- Facebook (Sacred Heart Greenwich), Twitter (@CSHGreenwich) and Instagram – and using the #GoSacredHeartOlympians hashtag. 

Sacred Heart Greenwich is a girls’ college preparatory independent Catholic day school for kindergarten through 12th grade with a coed early childhood education program. It was founded in 1848. 

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