Former Olympic athlete speaks at ‘MENtality Luncheon’

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    A former Olympic athlete and TCU alumnus reflected on his experiences from growing up in south side Fort Worth to becoming a world-class runner at Tuesday’s “MENtality Luncheon.”

    Khadevis Robinson spoke at the free Student Affairs luncheon for men about the importance of hard work and surrounding oneself with positive influences to achieve success. Robinson, a 1998 TCU graduate and track star, won the national championship in the 800 meters while at the university. In 2004, he made the U.S. Olympic team.

    “People ask me “how did you do it?'” Robinson said. “There’s nothing special about me. I’m just a guy, you know? But I’ve been fortunate enough to have been surrounded by some powerful people and positive people.”

    Daniel Terry, who directs the men’s programming committee in Student Development Services, said Robinson was chosen to speak because everyone could relate to his story.

    “No matter what direction people are heading in life, people can connect to the issue of overcoming boundaries to becoming who they are,” Terry said.

    Robinson began his speech by showing a video of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trial in the 800 meter dash. Robinson led for a portion of the race, but finished fourth and collided with another runner as they both dove across the finish line. Robinson said it is still hard for him to watch, but that he must do what is necessary for the audience to understand him, rather than what is comfortable for him.

    Aaron Marez, a university admission counselor, attended the luncheon and said Robinson challenged him to think about whether the things he is doing really reflect who he is.

    “It gave me the opportunity to at least evaluate my purpose not only here at TCU, but with respect to what I should be doing in order to follow my own passions,” Marez said.

    Robinson said he still runs competitively, but also spends his time as a motivational speaker.

    “I’m just trying to touch as many people as possible and plant as many seeds as I can,” Robinson said. “I want to just get them to realize that whatever goes on to really go after it, to really believe in themselves,” he said.

    Terry said the luncheon was the first event this semester in the MENtality series. The program is intended to provide programs that discuss issues relevant to men, according to Student Development Services website.