Olympic Spirit Drives This Pair of Athletes

by J.A. Adande

Published September 18, 2003
On a man-made beach in Carson, a 42-year-old man follows a course that will take him to Athens one way or another, almost as if his momentum and the weight of his three gold medals won’t let him stop.

On a track in Palm Springs, a 58-year-old woman takes her first steps on an improbable journey to the Olympics, guided by one of the central figures in one of the most unforgettable Olympic images.
Two chances at Athens. One unwanted, one unlikely. But inside of 330 days until the 2004 Games, Karch Kiraly and Bonnie Frankel are reminders of what the Olympics can — and should — be about.Kiraly won gold medals with the U.S. indoor team in 1984 and 1988. He teamed with Kent Steffes to win the gold medal in the inaugural Olympic beach volleyball competition in 1996.He and partner Brent Doble will compete in the FIVB Olympic qualifying tournament that begins at the Home Depot Center today, and if they do well enough and rack up enough qualifying points, he just might have to continue. Continue reading “Olympic Spirit Drives This Pair of Athletes”

Coach Runs to Tune of Different Drummer

Colleges: At 51, Frankel puts a positive spin on Loyola Marymount’s cross-country program.

Bonnie Frankel is not your ordinary college coach, and she is proud of it. Just listen to runners she has coached at Loyola Marymount the last two seasons:

“I was ready to quit running because I felt burned out when I first met Bonnie,” said assistant coach Chuck Hernandez, who ran for Frankel last season. “But she really encouraged me and I turned around and set a [personal record] by over two minutes.”

Said freshman Lysandra Sapp: “She not only trains you but she tunes in on your mental aspect as well. She is able to key into your problems. She is just tremendous.”

Said freshman Malinalli Martinez: “Bonnie is so hyper with so much energy. She’s the reason why I decided to run here despite the fact Loyola does not have a track team.”

Continue reading “Coach Runs to Tune of Different Drummer”

She Wins One for the Ages : NCAA: Unprecedented ruling gives Bonnie Frankel, 48, one season of swimming eligibility at Loyola Marymount.

DALLAS — As NCAA Convention proposals go, it was a little on the unusual side, an issue impacting a single athlete whose eligibility has almost run out.

Then again, the case of Bonnie Frankel–runner, swimmer and 48-year-old college student–is anything but usual.

She has fought off a variety of demons, including breast cancer, a learning disability and a divorce.

After being out of school for 27 years, she enrolled at Santa Monica College in 1989 and discovered a passion for education and running.

Continue reading “She Wins One for the Ages : NCAA: Unprecedented ruling gives Bonnie Frankel, 48, one season of swimming eligibility at Loyola Marymount.”