Jimmy Shea: Overcoming Challenges
Olympic athletes often become role models to kids. Even before Jimmy Shea Jr. won a gold medal, he was an inspiration to thousands of kids who struggle with special challenges.
(Feb. 20, 2002)------ View Real Video - Click On Desired Bandwidth
Shelly Osterloh reports
Jimmy Shea's a role model to kids with challenges, not only because he's a great athlete but because he struggles with reading. News Specialist Shelley Osterloh reports.
You might never guess the articulate, bright, athletic person has a problem, something he works every day to overcome.
"I had a very difficult time in school and I still have a difficult time with reading," he says.
Jimmy's father says, "Jimmy as a child, after lots of testing, we found out Jimmy has a severe learning disability."
Jimmy Shea Jr. has dyslexia, but he's learned to manage it with the help of good teachers, patient parents, hard work... and most of all, sports.
His father Jim Shea says, "His athletic ability compensated so much for the lack of scholastic ability."
"It gave me the confidence to be a normal kid and to be able to keep up and to make good decisions," Jimmy says.
"He didn't give up," his father says.
A lot of kids with learning disabilities give up. But those that don't, that perservere, they learn so much more about life than the normal kid that's going through school. And I think that's helped Jimmy a great deal."
Jimmy is already a role model to many school children. He often talks to students about the Olympics and being an athlete, and never misses the chance to share the Olympic Spirit.
"My grandfather always talks about the Olympics being the angel of peace and basically it's bringing everybody together in a peaceful competition. So it's really, really important these days," Jimmy says.
Shea believes sports can help all children develop good self esteem, health, respect and a sense fair play.
He wants to develop winter sports programs for kids, to help them overcome their challenges while he continues to work on his own.
"So I think sport has influenced my life in such a great way that I can overcome a lot of problems with my disability, and will continue to do so. As I get older, I'll get smarter and wiser."