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Paralympic student athlete reflects on career, role in athletic community

Tags: Fellowship

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Taylor Watters, UCCS Scribe 

 Olympic City, otherwise known as Colorado Springs, is home to many athletes who train for and compete in the Olympic Games. Olympic athletes aren’t just training downtown; UCCS is home to some Olympians too.

Senior communication major Suzanne Scott is a three-time Paralympic medalist. Scott, who is from Cape Giradeau, Mo., participated in the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing and the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Scott originally moved to Colorado Springs as a swimmer in preparation for the Paralympic Games in 2008, where she earned a bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle and was later nominated for Best Female Athlete with a Disability in the ESPY Awards.

Scott’s career came to a halt when she learned that she needed to have another surgery on her spinal cord to relieve nerve damage from scar tissue from previous operations.

During her recovery, she started to notice more neurological deterioration in her arms and legs and began experiencing shooting pains through her lower back and legs, which led to her decision to end her career.


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Scott later became a fellow with the El Pomar Foundation where she directed military affairs, worked on the Empty Stocking Fund and worked closely with awarding grants in Southeast Colorado.

“At El Pomar, I initiated the Team USA Fellowship. It was two years of continuous professional development and leadership training,” Scott said.

“It was a really great time for growth. I think without the experience I wouldn’t have the confidence to be in the role I am in now.” During her time with the El Pomar Foundation, Scott started attending UCCS to study communication and will graduate in December.

Read the full article here