Competitive paralympian athlete Jean Driscoll (1966-) was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with spina bifida, a serious defect that caused an open spine and cleft palate that left the nerves in her lower body unconnected.
"I was humbled a lot as a child. I was teased. Left out. I resented people who were so stuck on themselves," she admitted.
Although wheelchair bound, by age 13 the inspirational Driscoll was biking over 12 miles a day. "Tell me I can't do that and I'm going to do it," she said of her challenges. "I wanted to prove I was like the other kids and could do the things other kids could do."
In 1988, Driscoll won four medals in the first Paralympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. With determination, she has won the Boston Marathon wheelchair race eight times. In 1999, Sports Illustrated named her one of the top 100 athletes of the 20th century.
"I have a strong faith. I feel I've been blessed immensely. My victories are not only mine. It's such a privilege to be where I am," she said.
Called the best wheelchair marathon racer in the world, Driscoll won Olympic silver medals in 1992 and 1996. With vision and drive, she has taken her sport to a new level. "People thought athletes with disabilities were courageous and inspirational," she said. "They never give them credit for simply being competitive."
Dream big and set big goals.