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Wrightsville Beach Magazine May 2013

Anne Allen Dr. When we flew home from China I knew it would be WBM: When was the first time you got to walk out during the the last time I saw him and he sat there and put that gold opening ceremony with the US team for an Olympic or Paralympic medal around my neck and said, ‘Thanks Doc, for all you have event? done for me,’ and we took a picture together. He passed away ALLEN: The first time I got to walk with the team was in the 2004 two months later. Athens Summer Paralympic Games. It is the most amazing feeling you can ever imagine, to represent the United States, to … follow WBM: How has the global awareness changed about disabled behind the flag of the United States of America as you walk in athletes and the Paralympics since you became involved? that stadium. I got to do that again in China and most recently ALLEN: Before the Beijing games, most of the disabled people in London and it doesn’t change. It is always so special to walk in China were basically shunned. When all of these disabled with the US team, just knowing how hard everyone worked to athletes were coming in from all over the world, essentially as get there. It is really probably the biggest honor you could have in heroes, it changed the thinking and sparked a huge cultural your life … but I tell you, it is also a big honor being able to take revolution. The press in China said the biggest legacy the care of your family and friends from your hometown too. Olympic and Paralympic games would leave in the country Out of all the places in the world I have traveled to and would be its national awareness of what the disabled population spent time working in, I would rather live, work and play at can actually do. It is a unifying thing. Just as the Olympics unify Wrightsville Beach than anywhere. Not only because it is home, many different countries, the Paralympics unify the disabled but because it is one of the most beautiful places and the people and able bodied all at the same time. here are fantastic. Top: US sailing team members: Dr. Anne Allen, coach Marko Dahlberg, athlete Marc LeBlanc and team leader Lee Icyda at the 2012 opening ceremonies in London. Far left: Dr. Allen at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing closing ceremonies. Left: Dr. Allen at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens. 40 WBM may 2013


Wrightsville Beach Magazine May 2013
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