Looking at Olga Budke, you would never know she is state and regional champion gymnast, a pilot, a 14 year pianist, a talented artist, or first in her class academically. At just 17-years-old she is a self-motivated, hard worker who has big ambitions and the determination to achieve her goals. On top of all of that Olga is great friend, meeting weekly with a group of girls she’s known since 5th grade.
Olga is an all around “renaissance teen” who is excelling in multiple fields.
While gymnastics brought her a lot of recognition, Olga remembers the sport taught her teamwork.
Achieving at School and in Gymnastics
Olga Budke has been first in her class at St. Wendelin Catholic School in Tiffin for the past three years. Her favorite subjects are math and science, especially chemistry. Olga attributes her love of the sciences to great teachers, “Mrs. Moening at (St. Michael School in Findlay) made math particularly relatable and enjoyable for me and chemistry with Mrs. Gallina at St. Wendelin has been one of my favorite classes.”
In 2001 Olga began gymnastics classes at the former Gold Medal Gym in Findlay. Over the next 14 years she moved from recreational gymnastics to participating in the cheer team and ultimately to competitive gymnastics. When competitive, Olga earned two regional championships and an all-around Ohio State championship. Olga says that gymnastics helped to build her up physically and taught her how to be a part of a team.
Olga trains at The Academy of Martial Arts Studies in Findlay and hopes to eventually earn her black belt.
An Interest in the Arts
When she wasn’t working in the gym Olga studied piano. She continues to play the piano as a hobby and will receive an award this fall – a result of more than 10 years of instruction. Another lesser-known hobby for Olga is drawing. She is a talented artist who shares her pencil sketches with family and friends as gifts, and even designed and painted a ceiling tile at Main Street Deli.
Olga is already a licensed pilot and hopes to one day become an astronaut.
When asked which accomplishment she is most proud of, Olga says it’s earning her pilot’s license. “I’ve been talking about flying and wanting to go to the moon and outer space from a very young age. I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut and I figured the first place to start would be to get my pilot’s license as early as possible.”
Ironically, Olga took her first solo flight on her 16th birthday and earned her pilot’s license before she has earned her driver’s license. She said she’s following in the footsteps of her hero Neil Armstrong who did the same.
Olga’s ultimate goal is to attend either the United States Naval Academy or the United States Air Force Academy after graduating from St. Wendelin in hopes of becoming an astronaut. “If asked to go to Mars, I would love to go to Mars!” exclaimed Budke.
Olga, as self-motivated as ever, has begun training so that she’ll be physically prepared for the rigor a military school requires. She recently joined the cross-country team at St. Wendelin and is pursuing her black belt in karate.
Despite all of her accomplishments Olga Budke is very much a typical 17-year-old girl. She loves hanging out with her friends at Coffee Amici, watching movies, and is excited about her senior year of high school. Of course she goes go into it with a goal: “I’m using my senior year as an opportunity to try new classes and athletics.”