SEATTLE – Julius Achon, a two-time Olympian and NCAA 800-meter record-holder, spoke at Seattle University on Monday. Achon told his story of growing up in Uganda to eventually become one of the top runners in the world.
"We try to expose our student-athletes to different stories," said SU Head Coach Kelly Sullivan. "Even if it's just one person in this room who this story has an impact on, it's worth it. Julius reminds us that you have to do things for the right reasons. It's not about personal ego. We coach to help kids and recognize what's best for others."
Achon ran at George Mason University, setting the NCAA record in the 800 meter race at 1:44.55 in 1996. That same summer, he competed for Uganda in the 1996 Summer Olympics. Achon later represented his home country again in the 2000 Summer Olympics.
"It was amazing to hear his story, both from a life and a track perspective," said junior Sam Golden. "Going through the things he went through and finding new meaning out of that is unique. It's inspiring to consider where's he been and what's he accomplished."
Achon is a found director of the LoveMercy Foundation, which looks to help communities in Northern Uganda. He also serves as a member of the Ugandan Parliament.