Hi! Welcome to The Accolade! My name is Richmond Coney, and I’m currently a sophomore communications major at Drexel University. During my time in Philadelphia, I’m also competing as a Division-1 student-athlete on Drexel’s men’s rowing team.
Why I started this blog
I originally started this blog in May of 2020 while I was back home for the summer. I’ve always been an avid writer and one day I found myself searching for something new to write about. That’s when I realized that I actually have a very wide-ranging network of athletes. When I graduated high school in 2019 my graduating class had around 30 students who were going to be collegiate athletes. Many of my friends ended up playing for some of the nations best teams at Duke, Yale, or even Indiana. However, that isn't to say that my classmates were limited to athletic talent. McCallie, my alma mater, boasts an athletic program that is perennially one of the most dominant in the state of Tennessee as well as the nation. As such, it’s not a rare occasion for a few great athletes to pop up each year.
Who I write about and why
As I thought about all the great relationships I created throughout high school, I tried to think about what stories have not been told yet. That’s when I came to the conclusion that I’d like to tell the stories of top-tier athletes, and how they came to be so successful. This blog was created with the aim of allowing other athletes, as well sports enthusiasts, to understand what happens in the everyday life of a great athlete. There’s always one question that people want the answer to. They’d like to know what motivates these athletes, and quite frankly, I do too. Some are also curious if the athlete has advice for other athletes, while others might just want to know: What common factors do all these great athletes have?
Through this blog I hope to answer all these questions and more! As I analyze and talk with each athlete, I’ve already begun to notice interesting trends. I’ll be providing more insight about the athletes I’ve had the opportunity to talk to in the weeks and months to come!
My own experience as an athlete
Sports have always played an instrumental role in my life. I probably played pretty much every sport there is until I finally settled on rowing. Here’s a fun fact: I come from a family of athletes, but I’m actually the first to attempt rowing! If you were to look into the background of my family you’d notice that my dad played football for the University of Georgia in the 90’s. Alongside my dad, a number of my relatives have gone on to play anywhere from Georgia Tech, South Carolina, and even the NFL. Outside of football several other relatives opted to play basketball at universities such as NC State, Old Dominion and then the Euroleague!
Throughout my athletic career, I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by a family full of great athletes. I can most definitely attribute many of my successes to my family who have always pushed me to improve. In 2017, the year after I first started rowing, I became a member of the U.S. Junior Men’s National Team, and fast forward to now and I’m currently training towards the goal of the U.S. u23 Men's National Team! Additionally, I was actually selected this past year to be an assistant coach/intern for the United States u17 & u18 Olympic Development Teams! However, due to covid the team was unable to train this year. That was a bit of a let down, but I’ve found a new outlet in conducting these interviews.
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