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Katherine Neal practices for the Special Olympics World Games

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The 2015 Special Olympics World Games are going on in Los Angeles and you can bet that the positive energy at the event is off the charts.
Some 65 hundred athletes representing 165 countries with 30 thousand volunteers are taking part. Katherine Neal, of New Hanover County, is right there in the middle of it.
She’s our Extraordinary Person of the Week.

It’s a room full of some of the most spirited men and women in our area.

(men and women cheering)

It’s where we find Katherine Neal, an enthusiastic ball of energy who is participating in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.

We asked how she prepared for the big event.
“Practice. And more practice.” Speaking through her interpreter, we found that this young lady is quite athletic.

“Bowling,” Katherine said. “I like bowling, playing softball, I do swimming, volleyball, and cheerleading.”

Cheerleading. It’s what katherine and her colleagues are doing right now in Los Angeles. They are cheering on the athletes of the World Games. They were asked to take their show on the road after participating in local and state competitions.

“I love her more than life,” Anita Whisenant said. “She’s awesome. Very special and everybody who knows her is touched by her and they love her.” Anita Whisenant is not only the cheerleading teams coach, she’s Katherine’s mother.

“She is one of three in the world with her chromosomal disorder. There are only 3 with a mosaic 18 ring rod,” Anita explained.

When Katherine isn’t cheering for her team, you may catch up with her in essentials class at Cape Fear Community College.

“Writing,” Katherine said of what she’s learned so far. “I (have)learned writing, reading, and math.”

But class is out right now and the 2015 Special Olympics World Games are in.

Gimme an ‘e”…..EEEEEEE!!!!!….an ‘e’ for Extraordinary.

For a rundown of the events and when you can watch them on ESPN and ABC, click here.

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