The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
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Sports For a Special Athlete
Sports For a Special Athlete

My name is Heidi Rahnefeld. I’m going to celebrate National Down Syndrome Awareness Month by participating in the Arizona State Special Olympics swim meet in Phoenix. I have been a Special Olympian since I was 13, and I am now 38. Over the years I have competed in swimming, bowling, track and field, floor hockey, and cheerleading. I am in a group with other disabled people of all ages from my area in Arizona. I have bowling practice every Monday afternoon and swimming practice every Saturday morning. Cheerleading season will start this month, and I’m looking very forward to it. I love going to Special Olympics events because I make lots of friends there. Sometimes, before the opening ceremonies there is a dinner and dance. This is always lots of fun, because everybody gets dressed up and we have the best time together. I don’t always win, but I always come home with a medal. All of the athletes always come home with a medal. Special Olympics has given me the courage to try new sports that I never thought I could’ve done. It has helped me see the things that I am good at, not the things I’m not good at. My greatest achievement was when I was chosen to represent my province at the National Summer Games in 1994 for track. I took the plane with other athletes and we all stayed in the Special Olympics Village for a week. I will always remember this experience. I would like to thank all of the coaches who have helped me learn new sports in the Special Olympics Program over the years. Thank you Beck for always finding the time and patience to teach our cheerleading team new cheers. Thank you Kim for coming out every Saturday morning to teach us all how to swim faster and for coming to all the meets with us. Thank you Chris for organizing Monday night bowling. Most of all I want to thank my mother for getting me involved in sports that I can play for the rest of my life.




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Joanne Medd, Canada,
11/6/2013 2:20:38 PM
I knew Heidi when she was in school. Way to go Heidi. Keep it up. xoox

Susan, Canada,
10/14/2012 9:07:51 AM
I am cheering for you! God Bless you, Heidi, you will put in a great performance!

Lorelei, United States, AZ
10/14/2012 3:58:21 AM
Go Heidi!

Sabrina, Italy,
10/14/2012 3:40:53 AM
Best of luck Heidi!

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