Quantcast

Local 13 Year Old to Swim in Paralympic Qualifiers - KOAM TV 7

Local 13 Year Old to Swim in Paralympic Qualifiers

Updated:
JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

A Carthage girl is about to embark on a swim meet in North Carolina and she leaves tomorrow. But it’s not just any swim meet. She'll compete for a spot on a team headed to Rio for the Paralympics.

There’s no doubt about it, Haven Shepherd makes a splash, in the pool and out. She has her last swim practice in Joplin before heading to North Carolina where she will compete for a spot on a very prestigious team.

“It’s like an out of body experience because 3 years ago I would never think I was going to go to trials,” says Haven Shepherd.

She's an outgoing 13 year old, one of the best swimmers on the local USA team. But there is something that sets Haven apart. Born in Vietnam, she lost both of her legs as a baby.

“[Her biological parents] strapped bombs on to themselves is what we were told and maybe held her here and blew her out and all the damage was on her legs but it killed both of them,” says Shelly Shepherd, Haven’s mother.

Haven says she’s never let her disability hold her back.

“I can't just wake up in the night and just go to the bathroom because I have to put my legs on…but swimming is awesome because I don't have to wear my prosthetics, I can just swim away,” says Haven.

She's always been interested in sports but the pool quickly became a safe space and her accomplishments prove just that.

“It’s not something that everyone can do and if you look at the Paralympic trials there a minimum qualifying standard and there are not very many who even make it to the trials,” says Haven’s coach Shawn Klosterman.

He thinks she has a legitimate shot at making the team. But Haven and her family aren't putting too much pressure on the outcome this time around knowing she has many chances to make it in the future. And while it’s obvious she has a bright future, outside of sports, her mom thinks she can use her story to help others.

“I would really like to see her take her message of accepting yourself and kind of just become a motivational speaker. She’s so motivating to the girls and to our family and just such a joy so I’d like to see that shared,” says Shepherd.

Despite the serious week ahead, Haven is keeping things in perspective.

“It’s hard, it’s really hard but I’m going in an I’m fun."

The trials begin a week from tomorrow in Charlotte. This year's Paralympic games in Rio begin on September 7th.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Neosho School District Makes a Big Change to Their Drug Testing Policy

    Neosho School District Makes a Big Change to Their Drug Testing Policy

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 10:38 PM EDT2018-07-19 02:38:07 GMT

    With the kickoff of the 2018-2019 school year, Neosho School District students who apply for a school parking pass will enter themselves into the district's pool of students eligible for random drug testing. 

    More >>

    With the kickoff of the 2018-2019 school year, Neosho School District students who apply for a school parking pass will enter themselves into the district's pool of students eligible for random drug testing. 

    More >>
  • Miami Schools Adds Classes for 3&4 Year Olds; Competition for Daycare

    Miami Schools Adds Classes for 3&4 Year Olds; Competition for Daycare

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 6:47 PM EDT2018-07-18 22:47:05 GMT

    Miami school district is adding classes for three and four year olds  to help retain both teachers and students. 

    More >>

    Miami school district is adding classes for three and four year olds  to help retain both teachers and students. 

    More >>
  • Arson Suspect Arrested in Miami, Oklahoma

    Arson Suspect Arrested in Miami, Oklahoma

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 4:47 PM EDT2018-07-18 20:47:50 GMT
    Anders Shoes (7/10/18)Anders Shoes (7/10/18)
    Anders Shoes (7/10/18)Anders Shoes (7/10/18)
    The Miami, Oklahoma Police Department makes an arrest in a recent arson case. On July 10th, 2018, Anders Shoes was destroyed in a suspicious fire. The store is one of Miami's oldest businesses. The store is owned by 103-year-old Dena Ander. The fire came after the store was burglarized on July 7th and again on July 9th. The store had also been recently vandalized. On July 17th, police arrested a 29-year-old in connection to the arson fire. Authorities say he became a person o...More >>
    The Miami, Oklahoma Police Department makes an arrest in a recent arson case. On July 10th, 2018, Anders Shoes was destroyed in a suspicious fire. The store is one of Miami's oldest businesses. The store is owned by 103-year-old Dena Ander. The fire came after the store was burglarized on July 7th and again on July 9th. The store had also been recently vandalized. On July 17th, police arrested a 29-year-old in connection to the arson fire. Authorities say he became a person o...More >>
Powered by Frankly

KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas
Send tips, ideas and press releases to: tips@koamtv.com
Send newsroom questions or comments to: comments@koamtv.com
Phone: (417) 624-0233 or (620) 231-0400
Web comments or questions: webmaster@koamtv.com
Newsroom Fax: (417) 624-3158

Powered by Frankly, Inc. All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.