Olympian Called to the Bar in New York
Arantxa King said that the “intangible skills” she developed as an elite athlete helped her to jump from track and field into the legal arena.
The two-times Olympian, who was admitted to the New York State Bar last week, explained: “You set your mind on something, and it's just go. It's complete dedication towards it and discipline. I think that is definitely required to survive law school.”
She added: “I feel proud to have accomplished a goal and to be able to officially call myself an attorney.”
Ms King, 28, represented Bermuda in the long jump at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and at London in 2012. She also represented the island at the Carifta Games, the Pan Am Games and the Commonwealth Games.
She now works at a New York City firm that focuses on employment law.
Ms King described the focus of her legal field as “fascinating”.
She said: “It's something that will never go away. We all are employers or employees in some shape or form.”
Referencing the recent attention on combating sexual harassment and racism in the workplace, she said: “It is a field that I think finally is getting a deeper look. It just really captured my attention.”
Ms King graduated from Georgetown University law centre last year.
She said pursuing her law degree was one of the first times she had second-guessed herself in a classroom.
Ms King added: “I just had to remember who I was.”
She said the 12-plus years she spent running on a track for six hours a day, dealing with pain and her competitive drive helped her to make it through.
During her time at the school, she served as executive editor for the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, vice-president of the Black Law Students Association, and worked at the NCAA government relations office.
Before attending Georgetown, she went to Stanford University on full athletic and academic scholarships. She graduated with a BA in Political Science in 2011 and a MA in political science in 2012.
Outside the classroom, she was captain of the women's track and field team and was an Athletic and Academic All-American in the long jump.
While at Medford High School, located in Medford, Massachusetts, she was a national champion in the long jump and triple jump.
Branwen Smith-King, Ms Smith's mother, said that she was “extremely proud” of her daughter's latest accomplishment.
Ms Smith-King said: “She set her own path and has worked extremely hard. It's such a difficult road.”
An accomplished athlete herself, Ms Smith-King won Bermuda's first medal at the inaugural Carifta Games in Barbados in 1972. She captured gold in the shot put.
Ms Smith's father, Adrian, is a former fast bowler who played for St George's in Cup Match from 1978 to 1987 and for Bermuda.
Ms Smith-King said she was inspired to share news of her daughter's success as an example for the youth.
She explained: ‘If anything she's done can help and motivate some of our other young people, that if they keep at it and don't quit, you can accomplish great things in your life.”