Local athlete shares inspiring tale of journey to national stage
Ginger Shaud is one of the premiere athletes on the eastern shore. She is a swimmer, competes in long distance running, plays basketball, even power lifts.
But Ginger has had to overcome obstacles her whole life, after she was diagnosed with autism at the age of two.
"The minute we found special Olympics, I think she was about six, there were just so many things that opened up to her," said Ginger's mom, Karen Shaud.
Now Ginger will be competing in Seattle in the Special Olympics USA Games, battling at the national level for the second time.
"I don't want to be out of shape for swimming in Seattle I don't want to be out of shape out of Seattle," said Ginger.
Competition nearly cost her this time around. Last fall, while training for a 5k, she suffered a serious sprain.
"Let's just talk about the one accident she had. And it was running. And she sprained her ankle really a bad sprain," said James Deakyne, Ginger's dad. "It really was traumatic to her, physically, and also emotionally."
True to her competitive nature, Ginger still ran in the one mile race one month after her sprain and came in fourth in the state of Delaware.
Now fully healed, Ginger is ready for her races in Seattle.
She will compete in the 100 freestyle, 100 back stroke, 200 free style and the relay. But more than the competition, these events give Ginger an outlet for communication.
"She's become much more self confident, much more verbal, more sociable. Gives her something to talk about, and she's made so many good friends," said Karen.
The Special Olympics USA Games will take place in Seattle from July 1 through July 6, and like we mentioned this is the second time Ginger is competing on this stage, she also competed at world's back in 2015.
47abc will be leading the opening ceremony for the Special Olympics.