An Olympic athlete in the Providence St. Joseph family

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a month since Providence and St. Joseph came together. One of the great things about being part of a larger family is that we have more people to be proud of and call our own.

Malissa Lewis is one such example. She is the proud parent of Ameer Webb, who is competing with the U.S. Olympic 200 meter track and field team in Rio this month. He is currently ranked second in the world for the Men’s 200 meter.

Malissa is a senior recruiter with Human Resources at St. Mary Medical Center in San Bernardino County, which is one of our St. Joseph Health ministries in Southern California. I can only imagine how proud she is, and I’m sure Ameer would not be where he is today without her love, support and sacrifices.

Ameer Webb

Ameer Webb grew up in Orange County and attended Texas A&M. His mom Malissa has been with St. Joseph Health for more than four years.

Are athletics a big part of your family?

I have always admired athletes and their dedication. My youngest of two children, Lindsey, was on the rowing team for Colgate University and later went onto join the U.S. National Team. As a parent, it’s always inspiring to watch your children push themselves beyond their limits and pursue their dreams.

Are you the parent of an athlete? Whether it’s Little League or college sports, tell us about the athletes in your family in the comments section below. What have been your proudest moments? And what have you or your children learned from the experience?

When the Olympic Games start this weekend, be sure to watch for Ameer and cheer him on. You can also follow his Olympic journey on Twitter or Instagram at @fastlikewebb. And if we have other Olympians across Providence and St. Joseph, let us know in the comments below, so we can root for them, like one big family.


My wife Nancy and my daughter Lindsey share a common passion for rowing. This is a picture of them right before they raced at The Head of the Charles together in Boston. Our other daughter Alyssa is a swimmer.

  1. My son Matthew is 9 and has always been a “water baby”. Once we were able to start swimming lessons he just took off! He loves to swim. He participated in his first competitive swim meet this summer and fell in love. He is aspiring for the Olympics now and has the determination and drive to get there. It has been amazing to watch him learn and grow with swimming and I look forward to watching him continue to do so!

    Good Luck Amir! Hang in there Malissa! He will be amazing!

  2. im so proud of all you who published your story .love it proud to be an american. GOOD LUCK TO ALL THE US ATHLETES IN RIO… GO USA WERE ALL BEHIND YOU WE ALL LOVE YOU…

  3. My daughter, 13 years old 7th grade, decided to join track and field. She decided she wanted to run the 4 x 100 relay and do the high jump. I competed at state level in the high jump and was elated when she told me what events she was goign to do. After the first two meets she decided she didn’t really like the high jump anymore and didn’t want to participate anymore – I was crushed. Come to find out she continued practicing and eventually tied for 2nd in city at the high jump and her team took first in city for relay. I have always taught her to always follow through with her committments whether it be to herself or to her team. This taught her to work hard even to the end and even in something she didn’t really like doing.

    She has also worked really hard to become part of a competitive volleyball team which she loves!

    I can only imagine what Ameer’s mom feels like watching her son compete – congrats to her and Good Luck to Ameer.

  4. Thank you for sharing this Rod! The power and inspiration gained through sport is incredible and there is an athlete in ALL of us! As a parent we get to enjoy watching our children gain confidence and leadership through participation in sports and activities as they grow. I am sure there are budding Olympians in many Providence employees children! Watching the Olympics and seeing one of our own will be special…congratulations Malissa! I am certain that your son’s success came in part with your support and sacrifice. Good luck to Ameer in Rio!

  5. 2 daughters, both were on cross country and track & field. The oldest one is the Long Distance San Fernando Valley Track & Field League Champion now adding surfing as a new hobby and a violinist at Church, the young one is a cyclist at UC.
    I can imagine how proud Ameer Webb’s mother is!
    The best for Ameer!!!

  6. I have a daughter who is a competitive swimmer. She is determined, focused and very companionate. She is now entering high school, with the love and passion of her sport and one day would like to make it to the Olympics. She went to the North American Challenge Cup two years ago, which brought tears to my eyes. She was able to represent Southern California and won Bronze. She has gained so much from swim. Responsivity, time management, self-confidence and most of all good friendships throughout the region.

    • You must be very proud. Kids can learn so much through sports. Thanks for sharing, Vanessa, and best of luck to your daughter.

  7. I think many of us are or have carted our children from here to there and back for their sports activies and lived some of our own dreams through them.

    I danced, twirled baton, participated in gymnastics, played racquetball, softball, volleyball, and now kayak, bicycle, and paddleboard.

    We have two daughters who played lacrosse, softball, and one in competitive soccer winning the state championships at age 10. She played until a collision on the field caused a serious concussion. After an 18 month recovery she decided the brain was more important than the competition.

    We still miss participating and watching them now 5 years later.

    Go Ameer!

    • Health definitely comes first but it sounds like she had a great run there. Thanks for sharing, Susan.

  8. A few weeks ago, when my oldest got his drivers license, pitched 7 innings and got a homerun all on the same day. He has been working and trying to get that hit since he was little. It was a proud day all around. Cant wait to see where he goes from here 🙂

  9. My son, Aaron Nelson, had a successful track career at the University of Washington as a distance runner in both cross country and track.

    He graduated this past spring with 4 All-Americans to his name(two in cross country, two in indoor track),with the UW Indoor 5k record, and is a two-time Pac 12 Champion in the Steeple. He won his first professional race after graduation and plans to pursue running professionally. Hopefully there will be more to share in the future. My daughter is also currently a distance runner in college in Florida.

    I will be cheering for Ameer Webb in Rio! Thank you for sharing this story.

  10. Yes, My oldest son has always been an athlete – from 2 years old when he started downhill skiing…through soccer, baseball, basketball, football, hockey…when he was injured in a motocross accident at age 14 during a Statewide race, he injured a brain injury that caused him to lose all function on his left side (hemipalegia)…I rejoiced the day I became aware of Challenge Alaska and signed him up with their Blaze Sports program…he is now 24 and has participated in almost all those same sports in a wheelchair or sled (for hockey) – through Challenge Alaska’s programs. All of our family has participated in these sports with him – a family favorite is wheelchair basketball. An especially proud moment was this past April when his sled hockey team – the Alaska Avalanche won the National Championships for his division of sled hockey!

    • Inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

    • WOW! It is people like your son who inspire me to be active and stay fit- no excuses for being otherwise for those of us with no physical barriers. Good for him!

  11. Ah yes, 4 children, Little League, Soccer and Basketball. I was never on the rowing team but I Love paddeling around in my Kayak. Does that count? Ha Ha! Go get em Ameer! You’ve got this!

    • Sounds like you’ve got all the major sports covered. And yes, kayaking counts.Thanks for sharing, Ann.

  12. Saluting Ameer Webb,

    All the best in Rio 2015