Olympic champion to teach at school

Olympic champion to teach at school

KÜTAHYA - Hürriyet Daily News
Olympic champion to teach at school

Aslı Çakır Alptekin (L), who won the gold medal in women’s 1500-meter final during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, stands in a classroom to meet some of her students at the Saka Secondary School in the central Anatolian province of Kütahya. AA Photo

A month ago Aslı Çakır Alptekin was hearing the bells at the London Olympic Stadium ring. Next week she will be hearing the bells ringing at her school.

Çakır Alptekin, Turkey’s first ever Olympic gold medalist in track and field, made a memorable late run after the race bell – which is used to inform athletes they are entering the last lap – went off during her women’s 1500-meter final at the 2012 London Games. She won the gold medal ahead of fellow compatriot Gamze Bulut to earn a worthy place in Turkish sports history.

A month after that achievement, Çakır Alptekin is returning to her normal life. The 26-year-old athlete, who is a graduate of the Dumlupınar University Sports Academy in the central Anatolian province of Kütahya, has taken a job as a physical education teacher at a secondary school in the same city.

On Sept. 11, the champion athlete made her first visit to the school and was greeted by students, who also happen to be her fans.

“My physical education teacher at the elementary school was my favorite teacher because he was the one giving me a love of sports in the first place,” Aslı Çakır Alptekin said to reporters. “That was the lesson we could run or play some ball. I was looked up to my physical education teachers. Hopefully I can raise some future athletes like my teacher did.”

The athlete added she liked the Saka Secondary School.

“I liked the school a lot, and frankly I was quite excited meeting the students,” she said.

The first bell will ring next week when schools open and Çakır Alptekin says she can’t wait for the day.
“I am looking forward to the start of the semester. Hopefully we can start a track and field team here and be successful not only in Kütahya, but all over Turkey,” she said.

The school’s headmaster İsa Bayır is proud to have an Olympic champion on their staff.

“We are very excited. Working with an athlete that shook Turkey is very exciting for us,” he said. “I give great importance to sports and hopefully with Çakır Alptekin at our side we will be successful in local and national competitions.”