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The 10th Annual EAS Conference in Tronheim saw for the first time student-athlete role models presenting their dual career experiences to the delegate. One of those role models was Xicu Colomar, who has been balancing his academic studies alongside competing as an elite track and field athlete. Xicu shares his experience in the blog below –

Being born and raised at Mediterranean famed island, Ibiza, has been a great experience. Almost everybody knows about it because of it touristic claim and house music clubs. But there are many other activities to do in Ibiza like outdoors sports. That’s my example. My name is Xicu Colomar, and since I was a kid I did many sports activities: judo, sailing, cycling, football, archery… and at the age of 16 I felt in love with track and field. I like to say I run because “I like to chase my dreams”. It does sound really poetic but it is very realistic: if I ran faster, I could achieve my goal. Day after day, year after year… I stepped on the track and feel the freedom. Track and field is mainly an individual sport, but practicing and running with others makes it even more enjoyable. Thanks to sports, I have been able to run in 3 different continents, and travel to over 15 countries. I am very lucky to have great friend around the world that have the same passion I do. Athletics has opened many doors in my sports career, and also in my education.

I started college studies in Madrid in September 2007. In May 2012 I graduated with a bachelors’ degree of Physical Science from Kansas State University. During those five years – 3 in Spain and 2 in the USA – I was a student-athlete, being a full-time student and elite athlete competing in 6 international championships. It was a challenge to perform at a high level in the classroom and at the field, but with passion, ambition and dedication I managed to be successful. More over, sports opened me the doors to the labour market. The fall and winter of 2012/2013 I stayed in Paris, working at UNESCO’s headquarters. I collaborated with the Anti-Doping and Sports department and it was such a memorable experience that changed and shaped my life. Now, I’m at School of Architecture at Madrid’s Technical University, working on my second degree.

Being a student-athlete is not a simple task. Being involved into two high-time-demanding fields requires organisation, responsibility and great time management. For example, having to travel due to a competition and attending the chemistry lab was physically impossible. Because of that, coordination between academic and athletic departments was a necessity. And based on my experience, us, the student-athletes had to lead the communication between them.

Looking back, I realized in the last 6 years of my life I have many remarkable experiences related to sports, education and work. And looking forward into the future, I am very much excited to develop initiatives on those three areas. Sport is running in my veins, with the same power as architecture. I can not wait to see what life has in store for me!

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