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Columbia athlete overcomes disability by swimming in Special Olympics

The Special Olympics wrapped up its second day of competition on Saturday. More than 2,500 athletes and coaches participated in bowling, power-lifting and swimming competitions.

Allison D’Agostino geared up for her fourth year in the swimming competition. She suffers from a cognitive delay. In other words, she said she has trouble comprehending things under pressure.

It’s a disability that Allison told ABC 17 has not held her back in life. In fact, she lives by herself in her own apartment in Columbia, works at a local restaurant and hosts her own radio show online.

Allison said taking part in the Special Olympics helped her gain the confidence she needed to realize she could be independent and on her own.

Her coach, Alex Rinderer, said Allison never shows it if she’s having a bad day.

“She is the first one in the pool and the last one out, always willing to take advice from others about her strokes and just about life in general, and a great peer to her friends on the swim team,” Rinderer said.

Allison admitted she has her ups and downs but did not let the pressure get to her during the competition. She won a gold medal in the 100 meter freestyle, a silver medal in the 100 meter individual medley and another gold medal in the relay race.

The Special Olympics continues Sunday with track and field and bowling competitions.

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