Chance Encounter: Student and Alumna Meet at Triathlon
November 05, 2010
You never know who you will come across by sporting some Emmanuel gear.
On September 26th, Nicole Orlando '13 had a chance encounter with Janet Romayko '67. The two met while competing at the 5th Annual Ocean Community YMCA Triathlon in Westerly, Rhode Island.
"I noticed Nicole as she was parking her bike in the next rack over to me and I could not help but notice that she had an Emmanuel College sweatshirt on," Romayko said. "I went right over to her and introduced myself. She told me that she was a member of the Class of 2013 and I told her what class I was."
Orlando said she was excited to meet and chat with an Emmanuel alumna. "I felt like we were instantly friends," she said of Romayko.
When the race was over, the two snapped a photo together. Since the race organizers did not have enough medals to hand out to all of the competitors, Romayko gave hers to Orlando. Afterwards, they exchanged e-mail addresses.
Both competitors had different reasons for doing the triathlon. Orlando's boyfriend had competed in the triathlon the year before and she became inspired to do it herself. "I have never played a competitive sport, so it was exciting to challenge myself to something that I've never done before."
Romayko became interested in triathlons at the age of 40. She swam and ran competitively in her 30s and comes from an athletic family; her parents were serious golfers and her father was a minor league baseball player. When colleges and high schools offered women sports in the 80s, Romayko said that she "was on the bandwagon at the onset."
Both women will be competing in the 2011 spring and fall triathlons in Mystic, Conn., the partner triathlon of Westerly, sponsored by the YMCA of Mystic.
Reflecting upon her encounter with Orlando, Romayko said, "I think that it was meant to be that I saw Nicole at the triathlon. It shows that the Classes of 1967 and 2013 are versatile, vibrant and involved!"