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2007 Scholarship Winner: Melissa Reilly

Thursday, July 19, 2007 @ 1:55 PM
Melissa Reilly recently graduated from Acton-Boxborough High School and is planning to attend the Project Forward Program and Cape Cod Community College in Massachusetts.

Congratulations Melissa!

I have two big achievements that I am proud of: graduating from high school and skiing for Team USA in the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Nagano, Japan last March. I would like to write about skiing in the World Games. I started skiing when I was six years old. Everyone in my family skis. Skiing is my favorite winter sport. I get to spend time outside, stay fit and hang out with my friends.

I have been skiing with Special Olympics since I was ten years old and I got better each year because we practice a lot and the coaches are really good. i train all year long by staying fit. I walk two miles every day. I do 50 sit-ups every morning. I also bike and swim every week. (I do Special Olympics swimming and biking too.)

In November, when the snow is on the slopes, then I am ready to ski. I ski at least 3 times a week. Sometimes I ski twice during the week and twice on the weekends. My team and I practice at four different ski resorts. When I was training to go to Japan, I got up at 5:00 in the morning on Saturdays to go to the slopes.

Japan was awesome. I traveled all the way to Nagano with the United States team. The people there were so nice to the athletes and the coaches. I skied in three different events: the slalom, the giant slalom and the downhill. There were athletes from 82 countries there. I have gotten a lot of medals in Special Olympics but I am the most proud of the silver medal I won for the USA in the slalom. Timothy Shriver gave my medal. His mother, Eunice shriver, started the Special Olympics.

After winning the silver medal, Special Olympics asked me to be a Global Messenger. That means I go to events and tell people all about Special Olympics and how important Special Olympics is in my life. Not only have I learned to be a good athlete from Special Olympics but I have learned how to be a good public speaker too.

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