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Companion Content

How Lani De Mello Defied a Doctor's Predictions

Lani was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect. Her mother remembers the line: "She’s never going to achieve anything." Now, Lani is a Special Olympics gymnastics gold medalist many times over, a Special Olympics official and a gymnastics coach. She also works at a health clinic and volunteers her time as a clerk at a local high school. "Special Olympics made me a more outgoing person. Before, I was shy. Now I feel I can accomplish anything," says Special Olympics athlete Lani De Mello.