Who is Vonetta Flowers, you might ask? She was the first athlete of African decent to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics. She did this in the sport of Bobsledding in Salt Lake City in 2002.
Vonetta was the Convocation speaker for SUU on Tuesday this week. It is February, Black History Month, and one of the professors in our PE department had a connection with Vonetta, so the invite was made and she came. It was no easy task to get her here, either. She was in Vancouver BC serving as a Presidential Ambassador for the Winter Olympics. She had her 7 month old baby there with her and the grandma to help tend. Her husband and twins were in Florida. She left Vancouver to come to Cedar City on Monday afternoon/evening, but a flight was missed, a connection missed and she ended up spending the night in Las Vegas ("What Happens in Vegas!"). She was functioning on only 3 hours sleep by the time she finally got to Cedar in time for an 11:30 am presentation. Her presentation was wonderful. Afterwards, she ate lunch with the fine folks in the PE department. I joined them there at 1 p.m. We took pictures. I might have one to post some day. And then...
I got to drive Vonetta back to Las Vegas to catch her flight to Vancouver! We enjoyed our rainy drive down the good ol' I-15, through torrential rain through the desert. We chatted about her family, about bob-sledding, work, speeches, travel (nursing babies, storing frozen milk), surgeries she's had. She got in a little cat-nap. I got her to the airport in plenty of time. Then I turned around and drove back home to Cedar City through more rain. Rain and Darkness through the Virgin River Gorge. That's always exciting.
Any other person might have thought, "Oooh! Vegas! Free time! Shopping!" But I apparently am not a normal person. Couldn't think of a thing I needed. I WANTED some Krispy Kreme donuts, but didn't need them, so I didn't even stop there on the way home. Yeah, well. I didn't have my KK punch card with me, either. To the airport, then home. How boring is that? All my friends and family down that way live way off the beaten path, so I didn't even stop to do that.
Anyway, it was an interesting outing that I thoroughly enjoyed. She's a delightful lady. I'm glad we had the chance to visit.