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HIGH ACHIEVERS
David Epstein
December 15, 2006
While most FACES don't go on to become pro athletes, many still stand out in the crowd. Seven success stories
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December 15, 2006

High Achievers

While most FACES don't go on to become pro athletes, many still stand out in the crowd. Seven success stories

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ORIGINAL ENTRY: March 31, 1958

Kristoffer Kristofferson
SAN MATEO, CALIF. > Rugby, Football, Boxing
Kristofferson, a senior at Pomona College who starred as a distance runner in high school, plays standoff on the rugby team and starts at left end on the football team. He is also a Golden Gloves boxer, sports editor of the college paper, outstanding cadet in his ROTC battalion and a Rhodes scholar--elect. At Oxford he will study English literature to prepare for a writing career.

Web Wright
U.S. ARMY MAJOR

What he calls his ability to "focus with a lot of distractions" helped Wright win two NCAA small-bore riflery titles, then finish tied for 24th at the 1988 Olympics. It has also helped him in his current job as a U.S. Army major in public affairs, stationed in the Triangle of Death, south of Baghdad. While Wright, 39, has trained some 1,500 soldiers in marksmanship during his 16 years in the service, he says his biggest thrill was arranging interviews and speaking live during a Fox News broadcast in January 2005 as Iraqis voted in their first democratic election in 50 years. In Iraq, "I haven't had to fire a shot, which is kind of ironic," says Wright, a father of three from Fort Drum, N.Y., "but I'm not complaining."

ORIGINAL ENTRY: April 25, 1988

Web Wright
ANNAPOLIS, MD. > Riflery
Wright, a junior at West Virginia, led the Mountaineers to their fourth NCAA rifle championship in six years. They outshot Murray State by nine points. He won the individual small-bore title for the second straight year.

Vera Wang
CLOTHING DESIGNER

At 18, Wang missed qualifying for the nationals by two spots, thus ending her dream of reaching the 1968 Olympics. "I got very lost after that," recalls Wang, 57, who spent the next three years finding herself and studying in Paris, where her fascination with fashion (she came up with all her skating outfits) became a full-blown love. Now a world-renowned designer—Mariah Carey, Jessica Simpson and Uma Thurman wore her bridal gowns—she skates occasionally with her two daughters and still draws on the discipline instilled by 16-hour practice days: "My old coach Peter Dunfield recently said to me, 'Vera, don't you miss the wind in your face? And I said, 'I do. I miss it every day.'"

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Jan. 8, 1968

Vera Wang
NEW YORK City > Figure Skating
Wang, a freshman drama major at Sarah Lawrence College, hitched a last-minute ride (after her car broke down) to the North Atlantic Figure Skating Championships at the South Mountain Arena in West Orange, N.J., and took the senior ladies' title with a near-perfect performance.

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