Alexi Pappas

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School – Dartmouth (2012)ht-pappas-ot
Country — Greece
Hometown — Alamedia, Calif.
Event — 10,000m
Event Finals — Fri., August 12, 10:10am Eastern

During her time as a student athlete at Dartmouth and since she’s become a professional athlete, Alexi Pappas has been consistently unique. This summer is no exception: despite being a native Californian, Pappas will be representing Greece at the Rio Olympics in the 10,000 meters — the first woman ever to represent the country in that event. A dual citizen by birth (her paternal grandmother emigrated to the United States in 1955), Pappas announced in February that she would be representing Greece in international competitions from that point forward. She shattered the Greek national record in the 10,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational in May, running 31:46.85 (a personal best).  She has since represented Greece at the 2016 European Championships.

At Dartmouth, Pappas was a late bloomer, only making it to NCAAs in track as a senior. She ran the lead leg on Dartmouth’s third place distance medley relay squad (11:06.29) at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships. That spring, Pappas ran 9:58.80 to win the Heps Outdoor Championship and set an Ivy League meet record in the 3,000 meter steeplechase — a record which stood until this spring, when Harvard’s Paige Kouba broke it in 2016. Pappas placed third in the steeple at the 2012 NCAA championships, earning her second All-American award, and competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials in the steeple.

Pappas received a fifth year of NCAA eligibility to use at the University of Oregon, where she pursued a masters degree in interdisciplinary studies, focusing on film, English, and entrepreneurial business. She made the most of that year.  First in cross-country, where she finished eighth at NCAAs to help The Oregon Ducks win the championship, and then during indoor track, where she earned All-American status in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters.

Pappas has remained in Eugene since finishing her masters and trains with the Nike-sponsored Oregon Track Club Elite. Since she’s turned pro, she’s set personal bests in the 5,000 meters (15:28.38), 3,000 meters (9:05.12) and raced on the roads in distances from the 5K to the half marathon.

In addition to her running success, Pappas already has two feature film credits under her belt. While at Oregon, she and her boyfriend Jeremy Teicher teamed up to write and direct the movie “Tall as the Baobab Tree,” and the two recently premiered their latest movie, “Tracktown,” at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Pappas even Tweets creatively—occasionally in verse—and contributes regularly to Women’s Running magazine.

Additional resources:

Pappas’s Facebook account
Pappas’s Twitter account
Tracktown movie web site
New York Times: Alexi Pappas Veers Far From her Lane
Purpose2Play: Olympic Hopeful and Filmmaker Alexi Pappas Churns Miles and Words for the Perfect Mix

– Becky Wexler