Meet Jamie Staton's Virtual Running Team: Mile 24

Lauren Hoepp & Doug Dolan
Name: Lauren Hoepp
Age: 43
Hometown: Hampton
Local Program: Dover Mighty Seals & Team Portsmouth
Sports: Swimming & Bowling

This will be Lauren Hoepp’s third year participating in Special Olympics events. At first she was really anxious about practices and competing, but by the end of the experience she had loved every second of it. She said, “It is just so rewarding when you see all of those ribbons and medals you know all of the hard work has paid off.” Lauren has won an array of medals and ribbons in swimming and is really looking forward to when she wins the gold in an event. She also won a gold medal in bowling last year.

Special Olympics has become a big part of her family as well. Her family has been so supportive with her athletic endeavors with Special Olympics and they even try to attend her events when they can. When asked what her favorite thing about Special Olympics is, she responded by saying, “Just being accepted as an equal. Everyone on the team is included, not excluded, which is amazing.”

Lauren is also really excited for her future with Special Olympics. Besides being excited for all of events, she really wants to become a coach at some point. She finds coaching to be really rewarding because you can see the transformation process happening right before your eyes. At one moment you can have an athlete that cannot swim, but through a lot of hard work you can see them grow and become a very good swimmer. She finds that part awesome and cannot wait for the coaching opportunity to present itself. 
Name: Doug Dolan
Age: 43
Hometown: Goffstown
Local Program: Team Uncanoonuc
Sports: Bocce, Basketball & Bowling

In 2014, Doug Dolan was selected to be a part of Team New Hampshire at the USA Games in New Jersey. Doug competed in the 50 meter walk, the 100 meter walk, and the softball throw. When asked about his experience at the 2014 USA Games he said that, “It was fun. I got to meet a lot of new people. I was really excited.” At those games, Doug ended up bringing home two bronze medals in the 50 meter walk and the softball throw. He also got fourth place in the 100 meter walk.
Doug has been a part of the Special Olympics since he was just six years old. Doug’s favorite thing about Special Olympics is connecting with and meeting new people at the practices and events he participates in. When asked why he has continued with Special Olympics his mother said that it gives him a chance to be with his peers, meet new people and gives him more opportunities to compete in sports. When it comes to the future with Special Olympics, Doug and his mom both agreed that they just want to continue the friendships comradery and with all of the parents and athletes that are involved.