The memory of our leading road cyclist, Carla Swart will live on after she was inducted into Lees-McRae College’s Fred I. Dickerson Athletic Hall of Fame last week.
Swart, 23, died in an accident involving a truck while training in the Free State in January this year.
She was South Africa’s top finisher at the 2010 UCI World Road Championships in Melbourne, Australia where she ended 10th. She went on to end eighth in the women’s road race at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi later in the year.
The evening was an extremely memorable one for inductees, staff, and guests alike, as Director of Athletics Craig McPhail and Lees-McRae President Barry M. Buxton each shared words of appreciation and gratitude for the athletic talent and service to both the College and community of each inductee. The inductees themselves warmed the heart and touched the soul of everyone in the room with their stories as well, while voicing their encouragement to all of the young athletes in attendance.
ÔÇ£Carla embodied the spirit of life, the character to which greatness is made, and the incredible humanity we all wish we could be,ÔÇØ said McPhail as part of his induction speech for Swart.
Swart almost single-handedly redefined the sport of collegiate cycling, quickly becoming the most decorated rider in the history of the sport. During her career with the Bobcats, Swart collected 19 individual and team national titles, while becoming the first cyclist in collegiate history to win a national title in each of the four disciplines, accomplishing the feat during the 2008 season.
ÔÇ£Let’s all live how Carla wanted us to live,ÔÇØ said Swart’s father, Deon Swart. ÔÇ£Tonight is not a night to mourn, it is a night of happiness, so please be happy in this life and enjoy.ÔÇØ