On April 28, senior member of the swimming and diving team Bryana Cielo, editor-in-chief of Spectrum, was honored with the Hartford Healthcare Courage Award.
According to the Hartford Healthcare website, each month between November and April, two inspiring student athletes, one male and one female, are award winners in Connecticut.
During her sophomore year at Sacred Heart, Cielo was diagnosed with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, requiring her to halt her athletic career. However, she stayed as a member of the Sacred Heart University swim team program, though she stopped active participation in meets. However, in the 2020 Northeast Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, Cielo returned to the pool for a final competition as a student athlete. She not only was able to participate, but she set a personal best in the 50-meter freestyle.
The award is usually given at a ceremony, but this year an in-person event wasn’t possible.
“Hartford Healthcare, Associated Press, and College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) went out of their way to put a virtual ceremony despite the restrictions that are in place right now, which I really appreciate,” said Cielo.
As for how she managed to stay positive, Cielo credits the university and her family.
“I wouldn’t have been able to get through these past few years as an athlete and as a person without the support of my SHU family,” said Cielo. “This challenge was presented to me during college, and knowing I had people surrounding me that would be there for me day in and day out meant everything to me. “
Below are links to other stories highlighting Cielo’s accolade.
Associated Press – https://apnews.com/335ef0ff54e481ea8c9f84de2117fdc4
New Haven Register – https://www.ctinsider.com/sports/jeffjacobs/nhregister/article/Jeff-Jacobs-Sacred-Heart-s-Bryana-Cielo-shares-15232325.php?fbclid=IwAR346ssndxLHKkOghtxaTzmiq8Dvut3leGSrlncIXGi8JTRqmKdhhipN2OY#photo-19350952?utm_campaign=CMS%20Sharing%20Tools%20(Premium)&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral
Sacred Heart Athletics Website – https://www.shubigred.com/sports/w-swimonly/2019-20/releases/20200427pkx56u