Meet Jamie Staton's Virtual Running Team: Mile 23       
Name: Anastasia (Stacie) Demopoulous

Age: 12

Local Program: UNH Therapeutic Riding Program, Team Gunstock & Dover Mighty Seals

Equestrian, swimming and alpine skiing

While competing in Special Olympics, Stacie has developed confidence in herself. One time at UNH, during a swimming relay competition, her team was in last place and Stacie was the anchor for her team. She was really nervous and part of her didn't even want to go into the water. But, while standing there waiting for her teammate, she said, "A little voice inside of me told me I could do this." Stacie took off into the pool and came up from behind and won a gold medal.

Name: Suzanne Larsson

Age: 35

Local Program: AHC Angels

Equestrian, golf, cross country skiing, athletics and swimming

Growing up, Suzanne had a lot of seizures and her mom thought that it would be a great idea for her to get involved with equestrian and be around horses. In 2000, she won her first Special Olympics medal in equestrian!

After winning the medal, the Flame of Hope was traveling through Manchester on its way to Atlanta, GA and Suzanne held the torch.  She felt so much pride that she made a promise to herself that one day she was going to be involved in the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR). After training and running many 5Ks, she finally reached her goal of being involved in the LETR and got to run with the torch at the start of the Manchester-Concord leg.

Through Special Olympics, Suzanne has learned that you can accomplish anything by having determination. The Torch Run taught her that if you have a dream, you can achieve it!  Suzanne's mom said, "She has accomplished so much and it is wonderful that all the athletes are given the opportunity to develop skills to help them reach their goals and their full potential not just in sports but in life."

For Suzanne, Special Olympics taught her to be determined to achieve a goal, and now she has a new goal, to become a published author. She writes a lot of short stories and illustrates them along with writing poetry, and even has read a poem at opening ceremonies about swimming one year. She also loves photography and displays her photos at the Derryfield Fair, where she has won many first place ribbons!