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Model athlete

By earning her Case degree, Olympian became an even bigger star back home

In 2004, Shikha Tandon, MS ’12, dove into the pool to race for India at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Later, she earned her master’s degree in biology at Case Western Reserve University. Today, both accomplishments make her a person of honor in her homeland.

In June, the Hindustan Times, one of the largest newspapers in India, reflected on Tandon’s example as “one of the few Indian sportspersons who has combined sports and education at the highest level.”

She was 19 when she competed against the world’s best swimmers in the 50 meter and 100 meter freestyle– two events in which she still holds India’s national record. Six years later, a shoulder injury ended her swimming career, but she was already working in the labs on Case Quad.

Tandon completed her master’s degree program in biology in the College of Arts and Sciences and went to work for the US Anti-Doping Agency in Colorado, combining her passion for science and sports as Science Program Lead. Today, at 35, she’s a product manager for TechCrunch in San Francisco and a role model for super star athletes in India.

“Shikha feels education has a very important role in an athlete’s life – be it understanding your own body, diet and the sport, following anti-doping program or making a post retirement plan,” the newspaper wrote.

It quotes Tandon advising other elite athletes to prepare their second act: “An athlete’s career is unpredictable – injuries can force them to quit,” she said. “What do you do then? Education can help you.”

Find her story HERE.

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