Special Olympics Pennsylvania #50for50: Emily Preston

#50for50: Volume 47
▪️ Emily Preston
▪️ 31 years old
▪️ Tioga County

“I used to live in Ithaca, New York. That’s where it all started. I was seven years old and I wasn’t speaking much and my mom saw this program to promote speech and it was for children with autism and Down syndrome, too. It was in Key Largo and I swam with dolphins. It was so fun when they pushed me and the dolphins used their nose to push my legs. It was so fun. I’m a famous movie star, too. I’m on Animal Planet, on Wild Rescue, because when I was there they chose to film me because I was so excited. I sometimes watch it on VHS. I loved swimming with the dolphins. … I’ve been swimming for a long time. It makes me feel happy. We play games like ‘shark in the middle’ at practice. Even before Special Olympics I knew some basic swimming skills. I had no fear. My favorite stroke is the freestyle and I can kind of do the butterfly real well. And I’m getting better at backstroke. I also did basketball, tennis, bowling, bocce and skiing. And biking. I’m pretty athletic. We used to go to Hofstra University and I liked the dances. And now I sometimes get to go to Penn State. I can’t wait for my favorite sport, basketball, to come back. I do 5-on-5 sometimes. I’m pretty good. Sometimes my friends pass me the ball on 5-on-5. … I work every day at Partners in Progress in Mansfield. It’s a non-profit facility for special needs people. I go there and clean, I go to a life skills house. We go in the community to different stores and venues. We went pumpkin picking and apple picking and we learn about using money and all that stuff. At the end we do ‘Scene It’ games, especially one of my favorite ones, Disney. I’ve been to Disney lots of times. Magic Kingdom is my favorite part. And Frozen and Frozen II are my favorite movies. My goal at work is I have to walk one lap around my work area. Sometimes I ride a bike, sometimes I have friends to walk with me. … I’ve been walking with my mom and my friends, too. I enjoy walking with my mom. It’s fun. I have a cat named Hashbrown and I have a boyfriend. We met through Special Olympics. And I love my older brother and going to camp [Camp Horizons in Connecticut]. I also really love Broadway shows and fishing and hunting with my dad.”

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Special Olympics Pennsylvania

The mission of Special Olympics Pennsylvania is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

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