Abby Conley: Our Local Olympian
The 2018 Special Olympics were extra special this year; Abby Conley from Allen County won not one, but two gold medals!
Last August, Abby’s mother Lynda received a call from Stacey Crouse, the local coordinator for Allen County Special Olympics, who shared that Abby had qualified to compete in three track events. The Conleys were notified on a Friday and needed to confirm Abby’s participation by Monday. It was not a decision that took much debate, as Abby had the desire and talent to become an Olympian.
So during the first week of July 2018, Abby, along with more than 60 other athletes from Ohio, participated in the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington. Abby and her fellow Ohio track team of Jabari, Ian, and Maggie had an amazing week of competition with new friends, laughter, and adventures.
Abby won two gold medals in Seattle: one for the mini javelin and one for the 4×100 relay. Abby said it was fun to win. She has been interviewed on TV and featured in the newspaper and several Facebook videos. There was also a special welcome back reception from her co-workers at Lima Memorial Health System, complete with a hallway lined with flags. Despite the media flurry, Abby is very humble when sharing stories of her success. Abby recently spoke at the Legend’s Banquet for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Lima Mayor Dave Berger proclaimed Wednesday, July 18th as “Abby Conley Day.”
Abby has been participating in Allen County Special Olympics for 19 years, competing and winning medals in track, bowling and swimming. Abby also swam for Lima Senior High School and lettered in the sport when she was in school. Abby’s high school swim coach, Jon Carver, became such a fan that he and a family member made the trek to Seattle to watch his former swimmer compete and give her infamous wave before setting off in each event. Abby’s parents and aunt and uncle also saw Abby compete in Seattle.
The community, fellow Special Olympics Sharks, friends, family and co-workers are all very proud of Abby’s exciting adventure and glorious gold medals.
Well done, Abigail Rebecca Conley!
By: Sue Savinsky