Is 35 too old to go to college or win an Olympic medal? Not if you ask Christian Niccum, three-time member of the U.S. Olympic Luge Team and Business student at DeVry University. The oldest member of the Luge Team, Christian has been training for his sport and winning medals since age 12 - which hasn't left him much time to focus on his education.
He tried going to college over the years, accumulating about 50 credits from various institutions, but never seemed to connect to the schools or his studies. DeVry University is different, he says. Having professors and advisors who check in with him regularly and provide support whenever he needs it has made all the difference. It’s the first time he didn’t feel like he was struggling just to stay afloat. Says Christian, "I’ve done the work in the past with other universities, but I didn’t do well. With DeVry, it’s the first time I'm feeling success in my education and it’s pretty awesome."
Working school around a busy Olympic training schedule is never easy; plus, Christian balances his athletic career with being a husband and father to three children. He is working towards his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship because he knows his education is important, and the flexible scheduling at DeVry allows him to balance all his priorities. Still, to make it all work, there have been sacrifices: Christian has to give up TV when he's in school – especially watching sporting events.
As he works tirelessly towards his Olympic dream, Christian is also learning how the business world works, as well as how to write a business plan, network, and share ideas with people in a way that is understandable across all languages. When he completes his Olympic career, Christian hopes to run a sports resort that specializes in team building, overcoming fears, and healthy living. "I hope to help people realize that struggles are only for a moment - they can make it," he says. "Everyone should find a way to stay positive."
36 USC 220506 | Students were compensated for their time