It is realistic to say that Alessandro is on track for the Olympics (pun intended!)

Alessandro is in 11th grade attending high school in Orlando, FL for an academic Semester.  He is from Austria.  Alessandro’s Local Coordinator, Mary Ellen, describes him as “really a good kid and always appreciative.”  She says that he is a remarkable runner and very dedicated to the sport.

“I always loved the sport, my big dream since I was a small kid is to go to the Olympics.  That’s why it was a must for me to continue track here in the U.S.!”

Since playing soccer as a very small child, he has been the fastest runner. After his time on the soccer field, he transitioned to running track 11 years ago when he was just 6 years old.  He and his parents realized quickly that he was very fast and won many races.

Currently, Alessandro is ranked 3rd in the State as the fastest runner. “Alessandro is very devoted to track and field sports.  He is always involved in running races for his school, gives his best, and wins every race!” Debbie shares.

“The track team is amazing!  The coach is great and has helped me a lot as a runner.”  He says that he enjoys running with his friends and the feeling of adrenaline while training.  He shares how competition is very different: “When competing, you have to focus more and need to be mentally prepared for the race. I like that a lot. The best feeling is when the starter shoots the gun and you just run.  You forget about everything and just focus on that race.  It’s amazing!  The best part is after the race when you know that you are done!”

Alessandro reports that the majority of his friends here in America are on the track team.  When they are away for a competition, they engage in fun activities such as going to a trampoline park, the movies, restaurants, and many more things. “I have great memories with the team. Especially when we went to an arcade and also the trip to Universal.  It was so amazing and funny!”

Alessandro’s host mother, Debbie describes him as a very friendly, positive, caring, and cooperative person: 
“He has a great sense of humor and is well-behaved.  We feel like he is part of our family!”

Alessandro loves his host family and remembers how they immediately welcomed him. “It is great! I really feel as if I am part of their family. We have a lot of fun moments together and have done many great things.”

He enjoys how the family always eats together.  He loves helping out in the garden and attending church with his host family immensely. Alessandro recently turned 17 years old on Easter Sunday.  He appreciated the incredible birthday party that the host family planned for him. Debbie reflects, “We had about 18 people present, which included family and friends for Easter. We had lots of food and celebrated with a cake afterwards.  He was very happy and thankful for everything we did for him.”

Alessandro says that his exchange experience has changed him for the better:
“I learned a lot of things, and it certainly gave me good advice for the future. Also, for track it made me a better athlete and overall, a better person.”

In addition to participating in the Olympics, Alessandro is also interested in becoming a neurosurgeon.  He wants to attend college in the U.S. to study neurosurgery.

Alessandro’s Local Coordinator closes with this message: “You are one of the best students that we have had. I wish you the best in your future endeavors.  I hope and pray that the Olympics are in your future someday.  I’ll be watching you!”

Written by Flo Webb; Edited by Lauren Lunt

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