NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Virginia Beach woman will represent Virginia in Special Olympics World Games

Posted at 8:40 AM, Jan 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-22 10:34:34-05

Virginia Beach. Va. - It's a story that proves you never know what you can really accomplish - until you try.

A woman from Virginia Beach will represent our area in the Special Olympics World Games.

If her determination doesn't win you over, her smile will. Wouldn't it be great if more of us thought the way Kelly Bradshaw thinks?

More than 20 years ago, this Special Olympian from Virginia Beach saw someone figure skating, and said, "I can do that".

"I wanted to go out and try it and see how great it would be."

Like most of us, her first time on the ice was far from graceful. Though it's tough to believe that now.

"Oh, I had to hold on to the wall. That was like, my best friend!"

Kelly wouldn't need that wall for long. In fact, for two decades, she's broken down many walls - rising to the top of her sport.

Soon, she'll represent Virginia in the Special Olympics World Games in South Korea.

Even with the pressure of being on a world stage, Kelly keeps her cool.

"What's going through your mind? How well I'm going to skate. I mean, I want to know what I'm doing and concentrate on what I'm supposed to do."

Kelly's had a lot of help from her sponsors at Iceland in Virginia Beach.

And her team of Special Olympics coaches, like Leslie Kelley, who's been at her side for years.

"It's a lot of work, because you have to figure out the different things that click for the different athletes. What works for one does not work for the other. You have to learn frustration levels and learn when to stop."

Her coach may know when to stop - but it doesn't seem Kelly ever will. She is proof that determination, will, and grace, can carry you just about anywhere.

"With me, I thought I'd never - different things I've learned - I thought I would never get there."

She got there, alright.

And later this month, with the world watching, we'll all know Kelly Bradshaw has arrived. Kelly's whole journey is only possible, thanks to your support of Special Olympics Virginia.