PACE — Auburn University graduate and former Olympian Gabor Mate spoke to the Pace Rotary Club about his experiences growing up in Hungary as well as his time as an Olympic Athlete. He grew up in communist Hungary as the son and grandson of track and field athletes. He said he loves living in the United States and strongly feels that it's an amazing country.

Mate was a Southeastern Conference Outdoor Champion and NCAA Outdoor Champion in the discus throw four times while on scholarship at Auburn. He broke the collegiate record for the discus throw in 2000 and 2003.

In 2000, Mate earned a place on the Hungarian Olympic Team in the discus throw at the Sydney Olympics. Four years later, he earned a place on the 2004 Hungarian Olympic Team in the discus throw that took place in Athens. Then in 2008, for the third time, he earned a place on the Hungarian Olympic Team for the Beijing Olympic Games.

After retirement from track and field, Mate continued to share his knowledge and skills by becoming a personal throwing coach. He feels that everyone has a special skill and has an obligation to work hard and share that with others.

Mate is also active in two Rotary clubs in Alabama.

Pace Rotary meets 7 a.m. Thursdays at Stonebrook Golf Club, 3200 Cobblestone Drive, Pace.