|Donna competing during the 2012 Paralympics|
Just before the 2012 Paralympics were about to begin in London, we shared the story of Donna Ponessa—a woman with MS and a member of the U.S. Paralympic Equestrian team. After the games concluded, we received an e-mail from Donna with photos from the London competition! Here’s what Donna shared from her experience:
“Although I didn't achieve my goal of coming home from the Games with at least one medal, I certainly am not coming home empty handed. This Paralympic experience has been golden beyond description. Not only did I learn what it takes to compete on par with the Para-Dressage elite, I learned that to perform at their level is within my reach.
As a child, my biggest aspiration was to be a groom for a horse and rider team showing at the National Horse Show (when it was held at Madison Square Garden). Who would have EVER thought that after living for almost 3 decades with an aggressive disability that I could still be called an equestrian athlete and have a decent showing at a Paralympic event!...
For the last 2 years I wondered how I would feel on Sept. 5th, 2012 (the competition ended on the 4th). It was an average day in several ways: I went to the gym, went to the barn. It was anything but average in others: I strolled to Greenwich Market with some friends and ate organic ice cream while sitting in the London sun, I then took the "tube" (London Subway) back to the Olympic Village and watched with my fellow countrymen the USA triumph over Great Britain in Quad Rugby.
Reflecting back on this last week, I remain in awe of the experience that I just encountered with the best of the best in the world of Para Dressage. I remain oh so proud [to] have been given the opportunity to be a part of the team selected to represent the country I so very much love.
While I will continue to savor this journey and bask in its glory, I am full of child-like anticipation as I begin to plot my path to the next quest. Yes, Life IS good!”
|Donna after the Freestyle event|
Congratulations, Donna! You can click here to see Donna’s event results. We are all proud that you represented the U.S. and the MS community at the 2012 Paralympics!