October 1, 2023

The Robert K. Jabs School of Business kicked off its Faith & Enterprise series of lectures Sept. 27 by inviting three-time gold medalist Leah O’Brien-Amico to speak on her experiences as an Olympic athlete.

The Staples Room at California Baptist University was filled with students eager to hear O’Brien-Amico’s story as both an elite athlete and a person of faith.

O’Brien-Amico spoke about her journey of figuring out God’s plan for her life. She discussed her success in the Olympics and being endorsed by Nike, but also about her failures.

“I’ll never forget the first time I spoke at a coach’s clinic. I walked up on stage and all I see are all these coaches staring at me, much older than me. I had about one hour’s time and I only spoke for 20 minutes,“ O’Brien-Amico said in her speech. “I walked off stage and said, ‘Never again; I never want to do this again,’ but luckily I had a great coach who said, ‘It was OK. Everyone has to have their first time. You learn from the first time you do something. You aren’t going to get better if you never try.’”

Michael Riad, senior business administration major, said O’Brien-Amico’s lecture reassured him.

“I learned that God has a plan for us,” Riad said. “We should trust in him.’

Although the event was hosted by the School of Business, students of all majors attended.

“I met Leah at a softball convention when I was in eighth grade. She prayed over me as an athlete of God and has been like a mentor to me ever since,” said Caitlyn Lloyd, junior journalism an new media major. “Even though I’m not a business major she was full of knowledge about life and success.”

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