"She's a powerful combination of intelligence, forthrightness, humility and common sense," said Kermit Hall, chairman of the Utah Rhodes committee. "I'm absolutely thrilled she won and not at all surprised."
Dec. 9, 2002
SALT LAKE CITY - Former Ute cross-country skier, Gretchen Domek has been selected as a Rhodes Scholar after exceptional achievement in the classroom. Domek is one of just 32 American college students to receive this prestigious award.
The national selection board named the Rhode Scholar honorees Dec. 8 after sorting through 981 applications sanctioned by 341 colleges and universities around the nation. The scholarship, which was established by Cecil Rhodes in 1902, is awarded to students with amazing academic achievement and leadership attributes. The 23-year-old native of St. Cloud Minn. is among the elite who have received this esteemed accomplishment.
"An individual doesn't win this," remarked Domek. "It involves a lot of people. The community of Salt Lake City and the University of Utah have really won this award."
Domek was recently accepted into the U.'s nationally-recognized medical school after majoring in bio-chemistry as a undergraduate. Her career goal of specializing in infectious diseases and working for the Centers for Disease Control as a virus detector will be put on hold as she devotes two academic years studying at Oxford University. "I am very excited that Gretchen has received this honor," said Head Coach Kevin Sweeney. "She will be a great ambassador for the U at Oxford!"
While at Utah, Domek spent two years on the U.'s top-ranked ski team. She was a member of the Intermountain Junior National team in 1999 and the Midwest Junior National team in '98. Domek also trained with Russian gold-medalist Nikolai Anikin and the Gitchi Gummi Sports Association for five years.
"The Ski Team has always taken pride in achieving academic excellence," remarked Sweeney. "This is by far an absolutely wonderful milestone achievement for Gretchen, the ski team and the university athletic dept."