After being a world-class athlete and earning his bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology (with an option in Exercise Science) from Fresno State in 2012, Calixte AHOLU came back to Fresno State to earn his master’s degree in the same subject. Now, as he is getting ready to graduate from the master’s program, AHOLU is once again excited for the next chapter in his life.

Born in West Africa, AHOLU grew up in Paris, France. He trained as an athlete in track and field, sprinting, and rally races and in 1992, his hard work paid off, earning him a spot in the coveted summer Olympics in Spain. Just four years later, he once again made it to the biggest stage in sports, competing in the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta.

After a successful run as an Olympian and traveling the world as a track and field athlete, he stayed in the United States on his Olympic Visa. He would go on to coach high school track and field in the Central Valley, while simultaneously training with his students. He’d run three to four times a week in the morning before school for 40 minutes.

“I do miss the competition, but you have to leave your spot for the new generation,” AHOLU said. “It’s for the new generation to express.”

He chose Fresno State to pursue Kinesiology because of the University’s positive reputation and diversity of the students he saw there – all facets that made him feel at home. It was here that he saw bright future ahead for himself.  For AHOLU, who previously studied information technology at The University of Paris Est- Créteil, the Kinesiology field was a welcome change and career transition.

“I challenged myself in a different area and that’s why I came to Fresno State,” AHOLU said. “It has the program that I want to excel in, and I find it’s more fitting for my career as an athlete.”

AHOLU has two goals for his career in Kinesiology. The first is to find a way to connect both the U.S. and Europe through exercise science and second, to open his own business utilizing what he’s learned at Fresno State. He wants to remain involved in the community by traveling back forth from both Europe and the U.S.

“I want to try to put my knowledge together and go back and forth between those two different continents, with the goal of helping other people,” AHOLU said. “My dad always said, ‘we’re not mountains, the mountains stay the same place, but humans have to move’. So that’s what I want to do every day.”

After graduation he plans on spending some time traveling to Europe with his sister and seeing the rest of his family. Excited about the journey that lies ahead, AHOLU said that working with the community and the tools that he has learned from Fresno State helped him build a different world view.

AHOLU will be among the thousands of students graduating this week from Fresno State. Learn more about commencement activities, and CHHS events, at the LINK.

Written by CHHS Communication Student Assistant, Rebeca Flores.