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May 02, 2014 | North America: Georgia

Georgia Athlete Defied Odds to Become a Gymnast

By David Crawford

Born with devastating multiple birth defects, there was little hope for Elena Weaver for a long and normal life. But her family fought for her and she began to respond positively to surgeries and therapies. As she grew stronger and celebrated more birthdays, her parents discovered Elena had dreams about what she would like to do and accomplish in her life! One dream was to become a gymnast. Elena found a gym program and her family helped out at the gym for lessons. Eventually her dad became her certified Special Olympics coach and her mom became the photographer, cheerleader, and costume maker. She competed in artistic gymnastics and became a state champion with the Level 4 status. Now she has learned and competes in rhythmic gymnastics - achieving Level 4 status as a state, national and world champion. She has led her family throughout the U.S.A. and to other countries for competitions.

About David Crawford: David Crawford is a sports manager at Special Olympics Georgia.

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