I've always been amazed by the ability of student-athletes to maintain a high level of athletic performance while navigating the curriculum. Certainly they have help--tutoring, scholarship, coaching, trainers, etc.--but it is a difficult path despite this help, especially at a top-notch academic/athletic university like UCLA. Now take our international athletes. They travel thousands of miles from their homes to a place most of them have never even seen before, and then deal with the stresses mentioned above. The movement from home to college is difficult for many students--even those from nearby cities with family and high school friends only a few hours' drive away. Frankly, I can't imagine how our inter. athletes adjust as quickly and as well as they do.
I try to keep up on politics, but I know only as much about this story as is shown in the brief NYTimes article (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/29/world/africa/29briefs-protestsmount.html?_r=1&ref=world&or ef=slogin). I saw it and it brought to mind our fan-faves, the Cameroonian duo. Apparently there have been some fairly widespread and violent protests on the streets of Yaounde, causing businesses city-wide to be forced to close doors until things calm down. The President has made a movement to alter the constitution in order to extend his presidency: not the type of thing we like to hear, and this is part of the motivation for the protest. I have no idea if/how this affects AA2 and LRMAM, but I certainly hope it is not something they or their families will be affected by. It's hard enough to move to a new country and be a top-level student-athlete--I imagine it's even harder when you hear of problems back at home. Hopefully the situation will improve in the coming days and weeks.