Recently, @Ford put out a call for all those employees, agency/contract as well as retirees with a connection to the Olympics, Paralympics and Senior Olympics. Over the coming days, @Ford will share our Blue Oval Olympian stories. Click here for the first installment, which includes an Olympian’s parent, a drummer, a diver, a long distance runner, and more.
DEARBORN/LONDON - “Amazingly brilliant,” is how Gail Schmitt of Ford Motor Credit Company describes her experience at the 2012 summer Olympic Games in London, borrowing a phrase she heard in England. She was there to cheer for her daughter – U.S. swimmer Allison Schmitt, winner of three gold medals, a silver and a bronze – and returned home with memories to last a lifetime.
“Everything about the trip – from being in the Aquatic Center as Allison competed, to the emotional medal ceremonies, to taking in the sights and sounds of London between competitions – far exceeded our expectations,” said Schmitt, an Electronic Commerce supervisor for Ford Credit Information Technology in Dearborn, Michigan. “I haven’t stopped smiling.”
Allison Schmitt, a 22-year-old Michigan native studying psychology at the University of Georgia, won medals in each of her five events:
• 4x100m Medley Relay – gold, world record
• 4x200m Freestyle Relay – gold, Olympic record
• 200m Freestyle – gold, Olympic record
• 4x100m Freestyle – silver, Americas record
• 4x100m Freestyle Relay – bronze, Americas record
“Allison has trained long and hard, and I couldn’t be more proud of who she is and what she has accomplished,” Gail Schmitt said. Her daughter trained alongside Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals. “He was like a brother to her, and they helped each other improve.”
The Schmitt family missed Allison’s last competition, which was added to the swimmer’s schedule after the family’s planned departure for the U.S. To preserve the excitement, they avoided Olympic news coverage until they arrived at home and watched the event on television.
Throughout her Olympic experience, Schmitt said she received encouraging text messages and emails from current and former Ford Credit colleagues in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
“Knowing so many people were cheering along with us made the experience even more fun,” she said. “We appreciated everyone’s support.”
This was Allison Schmitt’s second trip to the Olympics. She won a bronze medal at the 2008 games in Beijing.