Growing up as a poor kid in Cork City, Ireland, Marcus O’Sullivan lacked some of life’s most basic needs. His family didn’t have a refrigerator, or even a bathroom, in their home. “When it came time to change our socks, we’d put the left one on the right foot and the right one on the left foot,” he joked.
O’Sullivan overcame that humble beginning by literally running away from it. Running led to a scholarship offer from Villanova University, and that led to a career as a three-time world champion and a four-time Olympian who set a world record in the indoor 1500m.
Now in his 15th year as Director of Track and Field at Villanova University, O’Sullivan was the guest speaker at the 66th Annual Father-Son Banquet on Tuesday, May 1. He spoke of his early struggles as an athlete, of wanting to quit at times, and urged the students in the audience to follow their dreams and to talk about their goals with their dads.
“If I can do what I did based on where I came from, then each of you can do anything that you set your minds to do,” O’Sullivan said. “I used to think the worst thing you could ever do in life was fail. I hated to lose. But what I learned was that the worst thing you could ever do was to not try.”
Also honored on Tuesday night were the 2012 Loyalty Award winners. Dave Naser P’12 was hailed by club president Tim Valente ’84 P’13T for his selfless gift of time to the Malvern community. “Dave has always raised his hand to help out whenever we’ve needed a volunteer to serve on a committee or to organize a big event like tonight’s dinner,” said Valente.
Kevin Frost ’12 received the student Loyalty Award, which Fr. Flynn described as “the highest honor given to a student at Malvern Prep.”
“He always has a smile on his face, and he is zealous in his pursuit of excellence,” Fr. Flynn said in describing Kevin.