GWU Professor Recalls Experience as Former Olympian

Print Friendly

Dr. Anthony Negbenebor Represented Nigeria in 1976 Summer Olympics

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – It’s just a hop, skip, and jump.  Yet it seems the athletes who excel at this track event have been trained to fly.  Just this week in London, two Americans took home the gold and silver medals in the triple jump, which brings a smile to the face of GWU Dean Dr. Anthony Negbenebor.

Negbenebor isn’t the type of man who likes to talk about his impressive accomplishments as a member of the Mississippi State University track and field team.  He must be pressed to reveal more information about his background as an Olympic athlete during the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal, Canada, where he represented his home country of Nigeria.  After a few moments of conversation, he humbly shares his memories as a competitor in the triple jump track event and his thoughts about the athletes who are competing this year in the 2012 London Summer Games.

“I was up until 3 a.m. watching track and field, and honestly, they are stronger, better, and faster,” Negbenebor shares.  “The entire sport has changed.  Now they have all of the special shoes.  But the athletes are better than ever before.”

Negbenebor is no stranger to the Gardner-Webb family.  His 23-year career at GWU began in 1989 when he was hired by the University and began leading the campus World Trade Resource Center.  Since 2002, he has served as dean of the Godbold School of Business and Dover Endowed Chair of Business. He is also professor of Economics and International Business and has authored and co-authored several books.  He earned a Ph.D. in Applied Economics and Development from Mississippi State University and has conducted additional studies at Universite De Paris and the London School of Economics.

Considering his extensive academic accolades, one is tempted to be distracted from his athletic achievements. Learning about the techniques of the triple jump reveals even more about the capabilities of the athletes who compete in the event.  There are three phases of the triple jump: the “hop” phase, the “bound” or “step” phase, and the “jump” phase.  These three phases are executed in one continuous sequence to capitalize on acquired momentum and speed in an attempt to log the longest jump.

A teacher at heart, Negbenebor works to instill themes of perseverance within the character of his students.

The number one lesson he learned as an Olympic competitor? “Never give up, never give up,” he says.  “Never, ever give up on your dreams.”