Seeing the wind in her hair and the smile on her face as she ran down the track in her first Special Olympics competition
was overwhelming for the friends and family of Caroline Robertson of Duplin County. In 2011, the eight year-old who didn’t walk until she was five and then only with the help of a walker was accomplishing what no one ever thought possible.
“Special Olympics allowed her to be part of a competition for the first time ever,” said her mother Brenda Robertson. “The tears were flowing that day that’s for sure. She used to watch my older son compete and you could always see that look in her face, wondering why can’t I do stuff like this and now she could. It was overwhelming for sure.”
Caroline, who was diagnosed with Edwards’s syndrome as an infant, has accomplished more in 10 years than anyone wo
uld have ever imagined. Her parents Brenda and John defer credit to Caroline’s determination and competitiveness and to their close friends Terry and Tom McMahon and their small community of Potters Hill.
“The McMahon’s are like Caroline’s second family, “said Brenda. “They’ve been her babysitters since she was a year-old. They include her in every one of their family celebrations and consider her true family. Tom made a moving video of Caroline’s first race. We are so blessed.”
The McMahon’s were as elated as anyone to see Caroline participate in Special Olympics. It gave her a boost in her self-confidence. She wore her medal for a week.
“I was cheering her on li
ke crazy that day, “said Terry McMahon. “And in the middle of the race she looked over at me and said ‘I did it T’ and that was absolutely priceless.”
“When she races, I get so excited for her,” said Caroline’s father John. “It’s like I have a real Olympian out there. She’s just remarkable and puts her all in to it. She loves to run even in our house and is just so proud to show off her abilities. She’ll wear her medals for a week straight. It’s wonderful!”
Caroline is well known in her community as well. Whether she’s at church, in a restaurant, a store or in school, she draws a crowd. She struggles to verbalize her thoughts but is a social butterfly and very friendly with everyone. Her connection with people is amazing.
“When she walks into a room, it illuminates,” said her mother. “She is Miss Personality!”
“It’s eye-opening to see the happiness she brings into others lives,” added her father.
Caroline’s personality shines as bright as her medals. It’s clear her race video’s soundtrack was no coincidence – for those that know her— she is the light of their lives!
Congratulations Caroline Robertson – you embody the Special Olympics spirit and are the 2013 Special Olympics NC October Athlete of the Month!
Ice Cream: chocolate
Vacation: Orlando, Fla – because she got to meet Barney, Baby Bop & BJ. Hawaii is a close second because she went whale watching and climbed a mountain.
TV Show- Sprout
Cartoon Character: Caillou