Tribute to former Gympie Special Olympian
FORMER Special Olympian Amanda King will always be remembered for her beautiful smile.
The young newlywed passed away suddenly on Tuesday.
Her former coach Natalie Upshall said Amanda was a hard worker, putting her heart into achieving her goals, not just in the sporting fields of tenpin bowling, bocce and athletics, but also into her life in general.
“I remember when she made it to the National Games in 2013,” Mrs Upshall said.
“She trained her heart out to improve her times in the 400m walk, and she smashed it. She won, but ultimately she was disqualified because there is a rule that you can’t beat your personal best by more than 15 per cent, and she did. But she gave it her all on the day and she got her PB.
“It was hard having to explain that to her at the time, but as we said to her ‘That’s your PB and they can never take that away from you. You did that’.”
Mrs Upshall said Amanda was a loyal friend and supporter of her teammates and her sister, Rebecca.
“We travelled together to events several times and she liked watching her sister compete. She was always supportive of everyone on the team and a lot of them worked together at the Red Cross,” Mrs Upshall said.
Mrs Upshall feels privileged to have known and trained Amanda and said volunteering with special needs athletes, like Amanda, was its own reward.
“We feel like we are contributing because by helping them succeed, it helps to grow their confidence in other areas of their lives, so they can get the confidence to meet people and move on with their lives, and that’s what it’s all about,” she said.
“I will remember Amanda was always friendly and always had a smile. And so polite. Even when she was having a bad day, she still had a smile for everyone,” Mrs Upshall said.
The Gympie Times wishes to express their condolences to the friends and family of Amanda — taken too soon.