Olympian Accepts Invitation from Elementary Student to Visit School

Post date: Jun 11, 2014 6:59:57 PM

On May 30th, Olympic swimmer Ian Crocker paid a visit to Wells Elementary School and spoke to an assembly of students in the school’s gymnasium. Crocker was introduced to the audience by a very excited third grade student, Isabella Bazata of Ogunquit, who had the vision and rather lofty goal to bring the three-time Olympic gold medal winner to her school as part of a school project.

This spring, for social studies, all third grade students were assigned to study a famous Maine person of their choosing. Bazata, a swimmer at the Sanford-Springvale YMCA, selected Ian Crocker who once attended Cheverus High School in Portland.

“They had to have the visual,” said Isabella’s mother Jo-Ann Bazata about the third grade multi-phase, project. “Her idea and her dream was ‘why not have Ian himself be my visual’ and how can we do it.” Mrs. Bazata said that her daughter went on a four week search in trying to contact Crocker. As a result, Crocker himself ended up calling to speak with Isabella.

In his talk Crocker mixed in the core values of WES including respect, trustworthiness, and honesty as he spoke about his 10-year dream to be an Olympian, his coach who laid out the steps needed to reach his Olympic goals, his rigorous training regimen, his three gold medals and future plans which include training those with similar Olympic dreams. Crocker, who now lives in Texas, brought along his medals to show students during his presentation. With the exception of the fourth grade which was at WJHS for orientation, the entire WES student body attended the assembly.

“I am still a kid at heart anyway so it’s a lot of fun for me to be able to talk to them and share my experiences,” said Crocker after the assembly.

Isabella’s parents, Jo-Ann and Jerry Bazata, and Ian Crocker’s parents, Gail and Richard Crocker, were present at the special assembly.

Recognized before Crocker spoke were students who recently participated in the WOCSD Special Olympics.

Principal of Wells Elementary School, Marianne Horne thanked the PTSA for their financial support in making this special assembly possible. “We would not have been able to hold this wonderful and enriching assembly for our students without their support,” said Horne.

Caption: Olympian Gold Medal winner Ian Crocker with the WES third grade class of Michelle Boucher (sitting at top left). Isabella Bazata, holding three Olympic Gold Medals, is sitting below Ian Crocker.

Caption: Speaking to students at WES is Olympic Gold Medal winner Ian Crocker. To his right is third grade student Isabella Bazata.