Training and persistence are the keys to Karen Dickerson’s success as a runner.
When she was younger, she couldn’t tolerate the loud noises during gym, so she found her place on the track.
“We have to accept the limitations that our children have, however we should always support them and give them every opportunity to achieve their full potential,” said her mom, Ernestine. “As Karen says, ‘Don’t ever let anybody tell you can’t do something. Work hard and your dreams will come true.’”
Karen as run in over 20 marathons, including the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles, California.
“She inspires a lot of other athletes who might think they can’t compete. She serves as an inspiration for others with intellectual disabilities to try out for teams and get involved,” Karen’s mom said.
Karen’s brother Joey also is a Special Olympics athlete. He has competed in cross country events, softball, basketball and soccer. Even though he will not be taking part in the World Games, he will be in Los Angeles to cheer on his sister as she runs for gold.
Karen hopes to serve as an example to encourage others to get involved with Special Olympics. “I want to show everyone that Special Olympics athletes work really hard and they do the best they can,” she said.
Karen has many accomplishments off the track, too. She enjoys caring for her pets and watching movies or playing mini golf with her friends. She is also employed at Wegmans as a table busser.
Help Special Olympics athletes like Karen achieve their dreams by participating in this year’s Polar Plunge at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Click here to learn more!