Alia Atkinson's Hall of Fame induction made extra special by family and friends

By September 16, 2019

Four-time Olympian Alia Atkinson said having her family present made Friday’s induction into the Texas A&M Lettermen's Association's Hall of Fame Class of 2019 made the occasion even more special.

The Texas A&M Lettermen's Association's Hall of Fame Class of 2019 honoured 10 lettermen representing a cross-section of sports with great individual efforts and team successes at the university’s annual Burgess Banquet.

During her four years at Texas A&M where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Psychology, Atkinson received 19 All-American Honours, the fourth-best in school history.

The 2010 NCAA Champion in the 200-yard breaststroke, Atkinson was a three-time Big 12 Champion in the 100 breaststroke (2007, 2008, 2010) and in the 200 breaststroke (2007, 2008, and 2010). She also garnered Big 12 Champion titles in the 400 Medley Relay (2007 & 2008), 200 Medley Relay (2008), and the 200 Free Relay (2010).

She also set the 100-metre breaststroke (SCM) world record in 2014, while winning the race at the Short Course World Championships in Doha, while becoming the first black woman to win a world swimming title.

Atkinson, who is preparing for the next leg of the FINA World Cup, in October, said it meant a lot to have been able to share the occasion with the people closest to her including her father and mother Tweedsmuir and Sharon as well as her sister Sannica St. Cyr.

“I was really grateful a lot of my family members could make it, especially my two uncles, Karl ‘Laddy’ Smith and Ronald ‘Senior Laddy’ Smith. Karl, who represented Jamaica in the 400m hurdles at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, attended the University of Texas, a rival school.”

“He was a real Aggie towards the end of my swimming career so it was really cool he could come out and support,” she said.

“My mother’s older brother, Ronald, he would never come to my meets because he was always really busy so it was cool that he could come out and be there as well.

“He would watch on TV and he would videotape all my races so he was there in spirit and I could feel his support so it was cool he could actually be physically have been there.”

Atkinson’s college roommate Maria Summer Hartstein, her academic advisor Chris Barttelbort, and her college coach Steve Bultman, were also all able to share the special occasion with her.


Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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