Believe it or not, you-- yes you!-- have something in common with four world-class athletes. Joe Maloy, Kofi Kingston, Laura Georges and Erik Weihenmayer have all eaten in Mac, studied in O’Neill and have maybe even fallen asleep in a lecture or two. These four are truly exceptional athletes: all distinguished in their craft and all alums of Boston College.
Admittedly, it is easy to be subject to tunnel vision and only think of famous Boston College athletes such as Doug Flutie '85 and Luke Kuechly '12. The media loves BC football and hockey standouts yet seldom focuses on other talented athletes within our community. Each of the four aforementioned athletes are impressive in their discipline; they have been recognized both nationally and internationally for their accomplishments.
1. Erik Weihenmayer
Take Erik Weihenmayer '91 for example. Erik is an American athlete, adventurer, author, activist and motivational speaker. He holds the distinction of being the only blind person to ever reach the summit of Mount Everest, which he accomplished on May 25, 2001.
Erik suffers from juvenile retinoschisis, which caused him to go blind prematurely. Erik was a successful wrestler in high school and represented Connecticut in a national contest in Iowa. Eventually, Erik tried rock climbing and found his passion that would carry him through his adult life. At Boston College, Weihenmayer studied English and Communications, which led him to teaching and coaching in Phoenix, AZ.
2. Kofi Kingston
Another noteworthy athlete, Kofi Kingston '03, the professional wrestler, is actually the son of one of our librarians here, Kwasi Sarkodie-Mensah. Kingston initially worked in an office following his time at BC, but later found his passion in the ring. Kofi Nahaje Sarkodie-Mensah is a Ghanaian-American professional wrestler.
Since debuting in World Wrestling Entertainment under the stage name of Kofi Kingston, he has won 12 championships. Kingston is a four-time WWE Intercontinental Champion, three-time WWE United States Championsoprt, a record tying four-time WWE Tag Team Champion and a one time World Tag Team Champion with CM Punk. Kingston is known for his innovative ways of avoiding elimination with Battle Royal and Royal Rumble matches.
3. Laura Georges
Laura Georges '07, the professional female French soccer player, moved to the United States in 2004 to attend Boston College. She majored in marketing while playing for the Boston College women's soccer team. In her first season, Georges saw playtime in 13 matches while starting in nine.
In her second season with the team, despite missing matches due to representing France internationally, she was named to the All-ACC first team and also earned third-team All-America honors from the NSCAA. In her final season at BC, Georges was named to the conference's first team for the second consecutive season and was awarded the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award. She was also a semifinalist for the prestigious Hermann Trophy.
Georges now plays for the French club Paris Saint-Germain of the Division 1 Feminine. She is the first-choice captain of the club and plays mostly as a central defender. Georges represented France at four major international tournaments: the 2003 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2005 and 2009 editions of the UEFA Women’s Championship.
4. Joe Maloy
Most recently, Joe Maloy '08, a New Jersey native and BC alum, finished first in the Noosa Triathlon (Australia) in November 2015, becoming the first American in the 33-year history of the event to win this race. Maloy completed the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer cycle and 10-kilometer run in 1 hour, 47 minutes, 4 seconds -- four seconds ahead of Australians Ryan Fisher and Jake Birtwhistle.
Maloy previously was an assistant swimming coach at Boston College, but he put that part of his life on hold to devote himself to training and competing at the highest level. Maloy leads an international life; his competition schedule this year has taken him to Chicago, Canada, Japan, Stockholm, Rio de Janeiro and South Korea, among others. Maloy swam distance freestyle and butterfly for Boston College and was team captain in his final season of 2007-08.
Widening one’s scope can really open the mind. This is evident with the Boston College athletics community. We truly have some outstanding talent both past and present on campus. Athletes like Maloy, Georges, Kingston, and Weihenmayer are truly excellent and just as worthy of the spotlight and praise that Flutie and Kuechly have enjoyed.
Follow @BCGavelSports on Twitter for the latest updates on Boston College athletics.