Lea Ann Parsley Returns to Marshall

Marshall alumna and 2002 Olympic silver medalist Lea Ann Parsley finally made it back home on Friday. Parsley, who graduated from Marshall in 1990, was honored during the College of Education's graduation ceremony on the Marshall campus.

Parsley calls Granville, Ohio home nowadays. But after winning Olympic silver in the little-known sport of Skeleton, Parsley has been everywhere but home since February.

"It's changed my life in that my life is a lot more busy, and doing a lot more things," Parsley said in an exclusive interview with Herd Insider. "I'm still the same person I was months ago, though."

Parsley shot onto the Olympic scene in the very first games that Skeleton was an official event. Her meteoric rise in the sport was no surprise to those who saw Parsley play basketball for the Thundering Herd in the late '80s. Long, lean, and athletic, Parsley is one of those types who is good at everything she does.

"This was just something that came into my life unexpectedly," Parsley said of Skeleton. "If you love it, you're willing to work hard at it. And when you're willing to work hard at it, you can be successful."

Parsley advised the new College of Education graduates about having passion for their chosen careers. "I'm hoping that they remember that the passion that they're feeling for what they've chosen to do now will continue on for the rest of their lives," Parsley said of her remarks to the graduates.

Look for an exclusive in-depth Q&A with Lea Ann Parsley in the next print issue of Herd Insider on June 17. In the interview, Parsley talks about what Marshall sports mean to her, explains how she went from college basketball player to Skeleton star, and why she thought Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich was so cool for holding up a sign wishing her good luck in the Olympics. The summer issue of Herd Insider will be mailed to subscribers on June 16, and will be available at 25 retail locations in the Huntington-Charleston area the following week.

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