Giuliana Olmos Juggles School, Sport, and Service
Nov. 4, 2013
Giuliana Olmos is a full-time student, athlete, and an all-around "winner in life" according to Women's Tennis Assistant Coach West Nott. This month Olmos managed to spread her time between keeping up with the demands of midterms, dominating a tournament with her doubles partner Zoe Scandalis, and coordinating an event to benefit breast cancer research.
"GuGu," as she is affectionately called by teammates and friends, began to fill up her October calendar more than a year ago. When she found out that her teammate's mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, Olmos hatched the idea for a department-wide tennis tournament befitting charity. The Rose Cup offered support for tennis player Kaitlyn Christian and her mother Rose. After the incredible success of the first tournament a year ago and the news that Rose's cancer was in remission, Olmos and the team knew they wanted to bring the event back for a second round, with the 2013 model bigger and better than the last.
But there were other things on her plate as breast cancer awareness month approached. On top of looming midterms, Olmos was slated for doubles action at the ITA/Riviera Women's All-American Championships. After an early loss, she and Scandalis were given a second chance to compete as the "lucky losers." They proved to be anything but that as they dominated in seven consecutive matches against unlikely odds. Olmos and Scandalis won against two top-10 and five top-20 nationally ranked teams while making their way to the finals.
"It is not easy to do what they did against the best players in the nation," said Coach Nott of the doubles championship performance that has become one of his most memorable coaching experiences at USC.
Although wins were plentiful, time was not for Olmos as she managed to use her spare moments to solicit donors and work out details for the rapidly approaching 2nd Annual Rose Cup Tournament.
Olmos never questioned whether the Rose Cup would be too much of a time commitment for her already full schedule. When she saw the need to rally around a teammate facing a tough life season, Olmos immediately responded. "Tennis is an individual sport, but playing for USC has taught me that it isn't always about me, it is about other people too. I try to think about others before I think about myself and this has helped me in different aspects of my life," said Olmos.
The Rose Cup brimmed with Olmos' bubbling energy, from the tournament bracket, to the invitations, to lunch, nametags, and the brand new trophy. After speaking with a few donors, she reached out to the USC Norris Cancer Center as a recipient for funds. In the end, this year's event raised nearly $3,000 for breast cancer research and hosted over 150 student-athletes. The tournament far exceeded expectations and emblazoned Olmos' love for her team family.
In recognition of her tireless efforts, Olmos has been named the USC Community Outreach Athlete of the Month for October.
"Giuliana cares about other people in a very genuine way and it did not surprise me when she wanted to help out Katilyn and her family," said Nott. "Giuliana is a winner in life."