Diana “Anna” Griessler ’19, who graduated from Florida Southern in May with a B.S. in Exercise Science, was selected to serve as a sports medicine intern with the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center in California. Both Olympic and Paralympic athletes train in track and field, rugby, archery, cycling, and tennis at the Chula Vista facilities.
Griessler, of Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., has a passion for working with para athletes, and the internship has provided her with exciting opportunities to work alongside athletic trainers, chiropractors, massage therapists, and performance coaches, while observing athletes during their training sessions. The internship, which began in July, runs through December 2019.
“Securing this opportunity does not come easily,” said FSC’s Dr. Sara Terrell, assistant professor of exercise science and program director, who recently returned from a site visit to the Elite Athlete Training Center. “Very few spots are open for this type of internship across the U.S.”
While at FSC, Griessler excelled as one of the top students in the exercise science program, Dr. Terrell said, adding that her many accomplishments over the course of four years in the areas of engaged learning, leadership, and research — as well as a 2018 internship with Dare2tri, an Illinois-based nonprofit organization — had helped her to line up the highly competitive Chula Vista internship.
Dr. Terrell worked with Coach Peggy Ewald, a current United States Paralympic swim coach, to make it possible for Griessler to complete her earlier internship with Dare2tri, which empowers individuals with disabilities by providing opportunities to become more physically active through paratriathlons. Griessler returned for a brief follow-up stint with Dare2tri this past summer, before starting her 2019 internship at the Elite Athlete Training Center.