Meet Michelle Annibale
banner | February 28th, 2017
Michelle is 26 years old, and has been involved in Special Olympics for 18 years. She first competed in bocce in 1999, and was honored when asked to carry the torch for Opening Ceremony. Michelle has enjoyed training and competing in basketball, bocce, bowling, cheerleading, equestrian, kayaking, gymnastics, track and field, tennis, and aquatics, which is her favorite.
In true competitive spirit, Michelle rose above any nerves during the recent 2017 summer games. When Michelle arrived at the pool in Columbia, she was told that (due to a clerical error) she was listed for backstroke instead of breaststroke. Knowing she hadn’t swum backstroke in a couple years, Michelle’s coach gave her the option to sit the race out; however, Michelle responded that she could do it, and wanted to swim the race! The lessons taught so well by Special Olympics coaches (sportsmanship, teamwork, doing your best) are life-long lessons, and although she was momentarily disappointed with a 6th place ribbon, Michelle most certainly exemplified the Special Olympic oath: “Let me be brave in the attempt”! Holly, Michelle’s mom, says it was one of those very proud moments as a mom. “I am always so overwhelmed with the love and support bestowed on us by everyone with Special Olympics, that I find myself tearful with gratitude.”
Outside of Special Olympics, Michelle has discovered her love of Tae Kwon Do, which she has been participating in for about four months. She thoroughly enjoys demonstrating her skills for anyone who asks. She recently competed in the USA Tae Kwon Do Southeastern Region annual tournament, where she was awarded a yellow ribbon medal. She already has her eyes set on the red ribbon award for next year.
Michelle can often be found at Special Olympics South Carolina fundraising events, helping to support the organization which she loves being a part of. Passing the bucket at the Dunleavy’s Pub Polar Plunge has become an annual event, which she would much rather do than actually jump into the cold ocean! She also enjoys artistic endeavors such as making colorful scarfs and wall hangings using her skills in batik. She works at the Delicious Delights Bakery in Charleston and attends Beyond Basic, a life skills program sponsored by the City of Charleston.
When asked what she likes about Special Olympics, Michelle is quick to respond: “new friends!”