A four-year span is sure to bring about change, but for Dianne Jordan of Wayne County, the change has been vast and sweeping. Joining Special Olympics in 2008 at age 57 impacted her life in ways she never dreamed. The past four years have been a whirlwind, bringing Jordan new friends, new experiences and new found confidence. Although her career is still in its infancy, it reached the pinnacle when she was honored as the 2012 Special Olympics North Carolina Athlete of the Year during a presentation during the 2012 SONC Fall Tournament.
“You all may think I’m nobody, but I am somebody. Thank you Special Olympics!” said a jubilant Jordan upon receiving the award.
Jordan, now 61 years-old, has exceeded all expectations, racking up one achievement after another. Winning gold and silver medals in basketball skills, bocce and bowling has brought Jordan great joy, but nothing can eclipse her gold-medal bowling performance at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games in Nebraska. While there, Jordan impressed coaches and teammates alike with her determination and ever ready smile.
“Her positive attitude and spunkiness inspired everyone in our delegation. During our competitions, Dianne always wished the other athletes competing against her ‘good luck’ or ‘have fun’. Dianne is a natural at showing good sportsmanship,” said Wynter Sexton, Jordan’s National Games bowling coach.
The new friends and memories made in Nebraska only served to increase Jordan’s passion for Special Olympics. She’s taken her commitment to the organization to whole new level by attending local committee meetings with her sister and volunteering at Special Olympics Wayne County fundraisers.
“Dianne is a perfect example of all that is Special Olympics, her dedication and hard work both on and off the field of play make her very worthy of this award,” said Rich Walderman, Special Olympics Wayne County local coordinator.
Everyone who knows Jordan recognizes just how valuable Special Olympics has become to her and her family.
“Her confidence in sports, I believe, has carried over into the rest of her life. One after another Dianne takes on new challenges and turns them into new accomplishments,” said Jordan’s proud sister, Linda.
With all that Jordan has accomplished in just four short years, it will be exciting to see what the next four will bring. Knowing Jordan the best is yet to come.