Lifting the Spirits High for USA
By Kathie Wolfert
Chaperone, Global Youth Summit Team From Missouri Special to Scholastic News Online

Jody Carey celebrates her silver medal win in power-lifting at the Special Olympics World Games in Dublin, Ireland. (Photos: A.J. Hellickson)
June 28—Jody Carey sports one of the brightest smiles of all the power-lifting athletes. She is known as the "encourager" for the entire USA power-lifting team. There is no wonder that she was given the Athlete of the Year Award in her state of Missouri in 2001.

Jody, 21, competes not only in power-lifting, she also competes in basketball, athletics, volleyball, bowling, bocce, aquatics, softball, golf and soccer. She competed in the World Games in North Carolina in basketball, bringing home a silver medal. At the Special Olympics World Games today, she competed in the bench press and dead lift.

With a twinkle in her eye mixed with the sparkle of glitter painted on her eyelids, Jody was excited as she waited for the final power-lifting events to begin.

"When I started in Special Olympics 11 years ago, I never would have thought that I would end up in Dublin, Ireland, competing for a medal," she said.

Jody has the talent of encouraging those around her and her spirit definitely displays the spirit of Special Olympics. She writes poetry about her experiences and has had three of them published.

"Words cannot describe what has happened to me here, how everyone has cared so much about us here and how well we are doing," she said of her Dublin experience. "I feel like everyone here loves us!"

Despite her fear of a lack of words, Jody will surely be working on a poem about the Spirit of the Games in Dublin soon.