An Autistic Sprinter With Breast Cancer Just Won An Olympic Gold Medal
Olivia Quigley is a 24-year-old sprinter from Brookfield, Wisconsin, but her biggest challenges lie away from the track.
In addition to being autistic, Quigley was recently diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.
After five months of chemotherapy, she demanded doctors stop treatment so she could compete at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
At the opening ceremony this past Saturday, Quigley said,
I told them no matter what, I'm going to the LA World Games. Even if we have to put off chemotherapy until I get back. I wanted to compete in the LA World Games.
And compete she has.
Last night, Quigley took home gold in the 100M event.
The best story in sports? My girl Olivia Quigley, autistic sprinter from Wisc who is battling Stage 4 breast cancer, just won the 100M GOLD — Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) July 31, 2015
ESPN's Marty Smith has been an outspoken supporter and friend to Olivia, and he tweeted his support, respect and joy for her accomplishment.
GOLD! F cancer. https://t.co/tqphRMV2wq — Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) July 31, 2015
Smith also shared Olivia's post-race message with the world.
Olivia tells me: "I had to win this gold to show all women with breast cancer that they can do anything." — Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) July 31, 2015
And a win wouldn't be complete without a proud mama in the stands.
Olivia's mother, Judy: I couldn't breathe the whole race. I thought her stamina wouldn't hold up. But then I saw the look in her eyes. SO BA — Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) July 31, 2015
Olivia, you've touched and inspired us all.
Olivia Quigley, 24, is @specialolyUSA runner. She is also battling Stage 3 breast cancer. Amazing resolve/grace. pic.twitter.com/9P9aLuhMzM — Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) July 22, 2015