The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
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New York New York 10017
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Our Daughter the Powerlifter
Special Olympics Powerlifting Competition
Special Olympics Powerlifting Competition
Our Daughter the Powerlifter

My 37-year-old daughter with Down syndrome was born at a time when the laws mandating education for the intellectually disabled hadn't even been passed yet. Now she is a well-adjusted, self-sufficient, socially integrated adult with many friends who participates in a variety of activities with both disabled and typically developing peers and others. She has been a Special Olympics athlete, a Best Buddy with a college student, an employee of various companies, a volunteer for our local Down Syndrome Association, a visitor to our state capitol, and a light that we, her parents, follow with amazement and pride. Three years ago, she decided that instead of basketball, she wanted to participate in powerlifting for Special Olympics. This came out of nowhere, because she is petite and very much a "girly-girl." We were skeptical at first, (partly because she is only five feet tall and tends to be a bit of a couch potato) but as she became more insistent, we began to understand that she was really serious about this endeavor. We bought her a set of weights, and her dad began training her. She also received training and encouragement from the local Parks and Recreation Department Disabilities Program. The first year she competed, there were only two or three other women in the powerlifting competition; she brought home three gold medals in her weight class. She was hooked. She has received gold medals each of the years she has completed, and her enthusiasm for the sport of powerlifting has not waned. We are so proud of her and what she has accomplished, and she is very proud of herself. Down syndrome is only a description of chromosomes, not a disease, illness, or affliction. Our daughter is living proof that no matter what your obstacles are, they can be overcome.

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Shelli Wilson, United States, KY
7/19/2011 12:17:15 PM
This is my cousin Sharmane and she ROCKS!!! She is a real inspiration to all who meet her and get to know and love her. Sharmane I love you and I'm so proud of all that you do. You are truly an inspiration to me.

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