Dubuque Special Olympian named top female athlete in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque Special Olympian named top female athlete in Iowa

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

For the past 19 years, competition has been in Katie Stephan's blood.

She started competing in the Special Olympics when she was just in 7th grade.

Now the 30-year-old, born with spina bifida, is the top female athlete in the state of Iowa.

"That was a complete and total shock," she said.

She earned that award at last weekend's Special Olympics games.

She collected four medals at the game, including two golds in track and field events.

But it was the top female athlete award that she'll always remember.

"It just feels like out of this world awesome," she said.

But for this athlete, who competes in bocce ball, bowling, track and field among others, she isn't content with where she is.

"Just keep going, and just getting better."

And she has no plans on stopping any time soon, saying she'll compete as long as she's able to.

And she's also quick to give advice to anyone looking to ascend to the top, just like she did.

"Just go with what you go, and keep accomplishing everything, and eventually you'll get there."

Her coach, Mary Sue Green, also sent KWWL this statement about Stephan.

“Katie has been a spark for the team every time she is there. She knows her sports and can yell out strategies and put people in the right places during a game. Her biggest strength is team work. The Dubuque Packers Special Olympics team is so strong on it teamwork.

This year I put Katie in the running relay 4 x 100. Running you say… she does the 100 in her wheelchair, just like any other athlete on our team. It was a perfect fit. They took first at districts in Eldridge and went to state to run a great race.

Katie’s smile will win you over every time. I am proud to be part of this team," Green said.

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