As an exciting 2016 year comes to a close, I look back at all the amazing moments I was lucky enough to have this past year. The 2016 year will be a year that we will cherish for a long time as our first-born child turned one and seeing her accomplish different milestones is a sight to see. Over the past year she has changed and grown so rapidly, it is amazing to watch how she learns new things daily. She is our pride and joy and her strong and independent personality makes us proud parents excited to see what she will accomplish next.
I was honored to be selected to my second USA Paralympic Wheelchair basketball team that competed in Rio, Brazil. The experiences of not only playing with some of the world’s best athletes but being able to call ourselves Gold Medalists is a story that I will tell for years to come. Snapping a 28 year Gold Medal drought was the topping on the cake. As a team, we had a lot of fun during training camps and competition, we were not just teammates, we became a family. What many people do not realize is how much time is spent away from our families, for training camps, competitions, and just everyday training. There are times when you miss holidays, weddings, birthdays, etc. for training camps or competitions. The players on your team become your family. This was definitely the case when I missed a training camp because my 8-month-old daughter at the time was in the hospital. Every single teammate and coaching staff member messaged me for updates on how my daughter was doing and sent lots of positive thoughts and prayers, which truly meant a lot to Laura and I.
Words cannot express how much I value and appreciate my family, friends, teammates and fans for all their support throughout this journey. They are the ones who motivate me to do my best and give my best every single day. The ones who pick me up when I need support or knock me down if I need it, the ones who encourage me to follow my dreams! Thank you all so much!