Athlete Spotlight

Maureen Larsen

World Game Competitor and Global Messenger

Q: What kind of activities are you doing to train for the 2013 World Winter Games?

A: Right now, I am in training for cycling with Special Olympics.  I also walk the boardwalk.  I jump on my trampoline every day.  I am also trying to get good at using an iPad to prepare for my trip to South Korea.

Q: What do you love most about skiing?

A: I enjoy competing with Special Olympics, but I think my favorite part is just being outside enjoying the snow, the mountains and the free feeling I get when I am skiing.  I also enjoy meeting new people and making new friends.  At the end of the day, going inside, sitting by the fire and having a cup of hot chocolate is also a lot of fun.

Q: What was your favorite part of the Summer Games in Ireland?

A: Meeting a lot of people from Ireland, running on a new track,  traveling to another country.

Q: What makes you feel proud?

A: I am proud that I know how to ski, ride a bike for pretty long distances, and be a part of relay teams in triathlons.  I am proud of my 3 nephews and 1 niece.  I am proud that I can go to the bank on my own, make deposits and cash my paycheck.  I am proud that I have a job and can pay for a lot of my own things and pay my parents’ rent every month by writing them a check. I am also proud that I have been selected to represent New Jersey and the United States of America in skiing in South Korea this winter.

Q: We heard you’re involved in athlete leadership/on the congress.  Why do you think it’s important for athletes to have a voice within Special Olympics and not just play sports?

A: I think it is important for athletes to have a say in decision making regarding Special Olympics because no one knows better than us what our likes, dislikes and needs are.  So Special Olympics needs us, the athletes, to let them know what our thoughts are.