Success Story about Kelly Schneider an Olympic Athlete

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kelly Schneider.  Kelly is 27 years old and lives with her family in Bethel, CT.  Kellie works full-time at Memry Corporation in Bethel.

Kelly has been involved in the Special Olympics for about 17 years. She competes in a variety of sports including cross country skiing, bowling, softball cycling and basketball. Kelly expressed that “My favorite sport is softball. I have been playing softball for 13 years”. Another favorite of Kelly’s is bowling. Her mom encouraged her to bowl. She said, “Once I started working with a coordinator of the Special Olympics, I grew to love it”! Kellie has now been bowling for the Special Olympics for the past 12 years! Kelly was happy and excited when she found out she had been chosen to participate in the world games that were held this past June in Berlin, Germany.

Kelly prepared for the games with lots of practice. She trained 8-10 hours a week for the world games and two hours a week if it’s a tournament for the Special Olympics. Kelly’s mother and her grandmother helped her train. Some challenges that she has had to face are understanding directions. She knows that she is a visual learner so she can advocate for herself. Kelly makes sure she asks for directions to be repeated if she doesn't understand. An example being asking people to show her what to do rather than tell her. I asked Kelly what she likes to do when she’s not training. She said, “I like to travel with my grandmother. We have been on several overseas trips.”

Kelly is shy until she gets to know you but has a great sense of humor!  When I asked her if she has anyone she looks up to, she said with a smile “No one except for myself.”  Despite any challenges she faces...Kelly Never gives up!


Written by:

Carol Grabbe, Self Advocate Coordinator