Home Town Hero

octubre 20, 2011

When Amanda Gump was growing up, kids made fun of her because they said there “something wrong” with her. Whenever it was time to pick teams, she was always chosen last.

That was before she joined Special Olympics – and found a whole new world. The shy 12-year-old learned that sports can actually be a path to being "accepted and to achieve my dreams." Amanda says,"Special Olympics has built my confidence and made me a better person."

Now 18, Amanda trains hard in track; her events include the long jump and the 800-meter . Her parents see her progress as nothingshort of miraculous. Amanda was born with cerebral palsy. She also has limited muscle control on her left side, and her left leg and left arm are slightly shorter than her right.

Amanda has also learned to play basketball and is a hit at softball. Softball took some extra special work, but Amanda became skilled at catching the ball in her right-handed mitt, then tearing off the glove with lightning speed, so she could throw with her right hand.

Running remains her favorite sport. It also helps the teen cope with some of the issues she's faced in recent times. She says, "It helped me with some problems I had -- if I got angry, I'd go out and run. Hitting softballs helps too."

Amanda was part of Team USA at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece. She is proud to say she achieved personal best times in all three of her events. She broke those records even after injuring her foot in the early time trials; everyone thought she would have to miss her events. Says Amanda, "I wasn't going to just watch everyone else run!"

Now all the kids in town know how far Amanda has come -- including the ones who teased her. Anybody driving into Wayne, Ohio, is now greeted by a highway sign that boasts, "Home of Amanda Gump, Special Olympics … Ohio Athlete of the Year.” That proud tribute to Amanda's achievements stands alongside others honoring  state athletic champions and Baltimore Orioles Hall of Famer Chris Hoiles.

Her parents say Special Olympics and the chance to play competitive sports helped Amanda in so many ways and boosted her self-esteem in ways that help beyond the track field. As her father puts it, "If it wasn't for Special Olympics, she wouldn't be the kid she is."

Amanda has just graduated from high school and hopes to someday become a teacher. She's also looking ahead to the next World Games -- and training as much as she can in hopes of bringing home a few gold medals.

Your Donation Matters

Special Olympics transforms athletes’ lives through the joy of sport. Help us make a difference.

DONATE TODAY»

Volunteer Near You

Volunteering with Special Olympics is fun and very rewarding, for both the athlete and the volunteer!

LEARN MORE»

Follow Us

Ayúdenos a encontrar un atleta más

Donar »

Buscar eventos locales y obtener información sobre oportunidades para voluntarios en una de nuestras 220 oficinas en todo el mundo.

BUSCAR UNA LOCALIDAD PRÓXIMA »

Videos and Photos

Juegos unificadosLos deportes unificados revelan los puntos fuertes de cada miembro del equipo.Ver vídeo: »


Videos and Photos

DiferenteBarry Cairns explica qué representa ser un atleta con DI.Ver vídeo: »


Videos and Photos

Atletas más sanosNuestra clínicas médicas gratuitas marcan una gran diferencia.Ver vídeo: »


Videos and Photos

Esperanza en HaitíLeo y Gedeon juegan en campos precarios, ciudades de tiendas de campaña, donde pueden.Ver vídeo: »


Videos and Photos

Lo que nos enseña el deporteNuestro trabajo que cambia vidas tiene como sustento la fuerza del deporte.Ver vídeo: »


Videos and Photos

Muy, muy especialLa música ayuda a las Olimpiadas Especiales a tener un impacto mundial.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Noticias del mundoExcelentes fotos de eventos y personas de las Olimpiadas Especiales.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Colaboradores para el cambioLos colaboradores de las Olimpiadas Especiales son esenciales para hacer lo que hacemos.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Deportes de veranoNuestros atletas corren, saltan, nadan y marcan en verano.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Poder del deporteLos deportes son un poderoso instrumento para cambiar la vida de nuestros atletas.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Qué hacemosDeportes, salud, educación, comunidad y más.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Quiénes somosSomos atletas, familiares, personalidades, voluntarios y más.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Inspiración de jóvenesEn India se está realizando un programa de Olimpiadas Especiales centrado en los jóvenes.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Hasta la cimaEl Kilimanjaro fue un campo de pruebas para un atleta de las Olimpiadas Especiales de Singapur.Vea la presentación »


Videos and Photos

Deon NamisebEs un orador y un ejemplo a seguir. Pero no empezó así en Namibia.Más información »


Videos and Photos

Un mundo de oportunidadesLos médicos dijeron que Lani “nunca va a conseguir nada”. Más información »


Videos and Photos

Encontrar su vozDavid Egan siempre ha tenido grandes sueños. ¡Miren lo que ha logrado!Más información »


Special Olympics Blog

Health Needs Need Closer Examination

"You can't compete if your feet hurt, if your teeth hurt or if your ears ache."read more »

Posted on 2014-04-07 by Ryan

go to blog »


*

Special Olympics - Become a Fan