Olympic Gold Medalist Speaks at Live Q&A

Tianna Bartoletta speaks on redefining success.

On October 19, track and field Olympian Tianna Bartoletta attended Campo for a live speaker and Q&A event. The event was led by seniors Caili Raymond and Namratha Kasalanati and junior Marissa Castillo, who asked questions to Bartoletta and generally facilitated the event. About 75 eager students, mostly athletes, attended.

During quarantine, Bartoletta trained at Campo since the facilities she usually used at UC Berkeley were closed. The event came together because some track and field athletes saw her around and decided to reach out and see if she wanted to speak for the school.

At the event, the student hosts asked Bartoletta questions and gave her time to talk about her experiences. After, there was a question and answer portion.

“I think the event went great. We had a lot of time for Q&A from the audience and everyone was really into it — we got a lot of positive feedback,” Raymond said.

2 major life lessons that Bartoletta talked about at the event were being honest with yourself and others redefining success — it’s not just about the outcome, but the process.

She also gave some advice to female athletes specifically, saying that it’s not about comparing yourself to others or even winning, but it’s about constantly finding ways to be a better you.

Bartoletta is also a mental health advocate and talked a lot about the mental health aspect of sports. “It was really cool to hear her talk about some of the strategies she uses to help with pressure,” Raymond said. A piece of advice she gave that especially stuck out was when she said that taking care of all parts of you, physically and mentally, will make you a better athlete.

“I wanted to attend the event because I’ve heard a lot about her, mostly from my mom because she’s a big fan and put a lot of this event together. I’ve watched a lot of her races too, and just felt like this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to have a down to earth dialogue with her,” junior and attendee of the event Ellie Buckley said. “The group of people there was great, the environment was calm, it was just an overall awesome experience.”

“What I took from this event is just to always keep working and not let obstacles get in your way. Tiana is awesome, and you should go read her book, Survive and Advance,” Raymond added.