Danielle Success Story Staying healthy and strong through self-determination

Danielle’s Success Story
Seeds of Change, an SOCT Athlete’s Perspective
“Staying healthy and strong through self-determination”

Danielle Mola and Kellie Hartigan

Danielle Mola (left) with Kellie Hartigan(right)

This is a success story about Danielle Mola. Danielle is 25 years old and lives in Bethel, CT. She takes part in Special Olympics (SOCT) in Danbury. She is a Special Olympic athlete who competes with the Danbury team. This summer she went to Florida to compete in the USA Special Olympic games.  
Danielle first started competing in the games 7 years ago. She competes in track doing the 400-meter, 200-meter, and relay races. She also competes in basketball and bowling. Danielle trains throughout the year for her competitions. She said before the USA games she was running 3 miles a day 5 days a week. Danielle had to be determined to stick to eating healthy and working out regularly in order to make it to the USA games. Danielle came back from Florida with a gold medal in the 4x400 coed relay, a gold medal in the 100-meter race, and a 4th ribbon in the 400-meter race.  

Danielle talked a lot in our interview about how much she loves Special Olympics and the friends that she has made there. Some of her teammates helped her train for the USA games. Danielle said that her teammates and friends were a huge support system for her during the games. She said, “I also like to help with the younger kids who are just starting out, I want to help them so that hopefully they enjoy Special Olympics too.”

Danielle and I talked about different challenges that she had to overcome in her life. She said, “when I am faced with a struggle, I try to stay calm and relaxed, this enables me to work through whatever problem I may have”.  For example, one of the struggles Danielle experienced in her life was when someone was picking on her because of her disability, “by staying calm”. And the fact that her friends saw that she was being picked on and helped her she was able to get through this struggle. Lastly, Danielle said she is thankful for her friends and family. They all supported her when she was training for the games and competing. Danielle is a very driven individual who has worked hard to make her life successful.