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Natalie Dell, Olympic Rower, Still Proud To Be A Penn State Grad

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NATALIE DELL PENN STATE
AP

USA rower, Olympian and Penn State University graduate Natalie Dell is not letting her alma mater's recent sex-scandal get her down.

This past Tuesday was "college uni day" and members of the U.S. rowing team switched their Olympic unis for their collegiate ones. Dell wore her Penn State gear proudly.

In a recent Facebook post, the Olympian wrote a piece titled "What it means to me to be a 2012 Penn State Olympian." She details her experience fielding questions such as "How does this whole Paterno thing affect the rowing team?” and “Sucks to be a Penn State grad, huh?” while wearing her Penn State uni.

But, as Dell explains, her entrance into Penn State when she was 18 had nothing to do with JoePa or the football team. She says she didn't even know about their legacy, and her decision to attend everything to do with the university's academics. She additionally states that her time on club crew was extremely positive, and the rowers on this small team funded their own expenses.

She admits that while she was "sickened" by the scandal, it does not ultimately affect her relationship with the university.

"[Penn State] opened my eyes to a world larger than the one from which I came," she wrote. "It provided my family with its first graduate from a four-year university. Add the gratification of hailing from a self-sustaining and student-run crew team…the result is one very proud Penn State graduate."

Dell is the first Penn State alum to enter the Olympics for rowing. Along with her teammates Megan Kalmoe and Adrienne Martelli, Dell took the silver medal at last year’s world championships.

She is originally from rural Pennsylvania, but resides in Princeton, N.J.

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