Up Close and Personal With Stacey Johnson
By Manwadu Rofhiwa, 17, and Mukovhe Ralulimi, 15
Scholastic News Online Student Reporters, South Africa

Ralulimi Mukovhe (left), 15, and Manwadu Rofhiwa (right), 17, of South Africa, with Special Olympics athlete Stacey Johnson.
(Photo: Michael Rasikhinya)
June 24—Former Special Olympics champion Stacey Johnson has a special goal. She wants to help Special Olympics become even more successful.

"I believe in equal treatment for all," said the 36-year-old Team USA athlete.

A Gold medalist in the past, Stacey is now on the Special Olympics board of directors.

"I used to participate in many activities in Special Olympics, like speed ice skating, speed roller skating and golf," Stacey said. "I was mostly inspired by my friends who always encouraged me. Getting competition opportunities also added to success."

She also attributed her success to her parents.

"They always encouraged me to go out with other friends and have fun," Stacey said

In the future she wants more athletes to be involved in the Special Olympics.

"My message to the youth is: let's come together and break all the barriers on our way," she said.