Maddy Katalin, a junior studying recreation management, not only pushes through her life-altering disability, she rises above it.
“Cerebral palsy has affected my whole left side. I really loved sports, but cerebral palsy made that really hard for me,” Katalin said. “It also didn’t help that there was a lot of discrimination and a lot of people telling me what I could and could not do.”
Despite what people said, Katalin pushed through and did her best to exceed expectations.
“When someone told me I didn’t have to do something, I would do it double. I played softball, and when the coach had us run laps, I would run twice as many laps as everyone else just to show them I could,” Katalin said.
Because she pushed herself in sports, Katalin learned to push herself in other aspects of her life.
“It helps with my self-esteem,” Katalin said. “I don’t recognize that I have a disability. I feel like I can do whatever anyone else does, and I have done it. I always make the point to show myself I can do those things. I don’t care about showing other people because I know that I am capable.”
Katalin lives 10 minutes from the Paralympics Center in Colorado and hopes to get an internship there and after that, a job.
According to Britannica, “(The) Paralympic Games are major international sports competition for athletes with disabilities.”
Ever since she was young, Katalin has been looking up to the elite athletes of the Paralympics.
“The Paralympics are really inspiring to me,” Katalin said. “It shows that people with disabilities don’t let those disabilities hold them back, and that’s what I want to do. I want to rise to my fullest potential despite my disability.”