Allison Van Doren

Athlete, Bocce

Hometown: Roanoke

How long have you been with Special Olympics, and with which sports?
I have been involved in Special Olympics since 2019. I began with swimming and then added basketball, fall and winter combines, bocce, Polar Plunge and healthy athlete. I am also a Global Messenger and an ABLE Now Ambassador.

How has Special Olympics changed your life?
I have gained a lot of confidence by participating in Special Olympics! I have made friends, traveled to new places and learned new skills. I have been challenged and have been able to meet those challenges! Special Olympics makes me a better person.

Who do you admire most?
I admire my parents and sister for never giving up on me and always encouraging me to be my best. I also admire Dr. Tina Bhandari (Dr. B) who is the director of No Bounds. She works hard, is very encouraging, and doesn't take "I can't" or "No" for an answer. She got me into the Medical Assisting program at ECPI and supported me A LOT!

What does attending the USA Games mean to you?
I am honored to represent Team Virginia at the 2022 USA Games! I never thought I would be able to participate in somethi[n]g like this. I look forward to seeing Special Olympics friends from Virginia and meeting new friends from all over the US. I can't wait for the Opening Ceremony! I know it will be a lot fun and very exciting.