After the 2000 Presidential election, former Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug developed an interest in politics. The following summer, she obtained an internship in the office of Senator John McCain.
Strug sees parallels between her own Olympic career and the political career of her current boss, McCain. Strug is best known for her gutsy choice to compete with a severely injured ankle at the 1996 Olympics, while McCain is best known for publicly bucking party leaders on high-profile issues. In an interview with Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, Strug said that she thought McCain's struggle was tougher than hers had been: "As a gymnast, I could do it on my own. But for him, he's got to persuade all the others to go along, and that's a little different."
McCain's office treats Strug just like any other intern, including assigning her the typical menial taks like photocopying and faxing. But she also gets to address issues directly by drafting replies to constituents who write the Senator about the issues of the day. She has been focusing on health care issues, working directly with McCain heath care aide, and surely must have been fascinated by the summer's debate on health care reform.
Despite working for a Republican, Strug's politics are still in the formative stage. Although her parents are Republicans, Strug thinks that living in California has moved her politics leftward. Also, Stug says her boyfriend is "liberal" and she helped Bill Clinton celebrate his 50th birthday party - no, not like that. Regardless of where she ends up on the political spectrum, she will find her time on Capitol Hill a summer to remember.