Yakima woman chosen to compete in Special Olympics World Games

YAKIMA, Wash. -- A 23-year-old from Yakima was chosen to compete in next year's Special Olympics World Games. Jamie Hopper will be one of thousands of athletes meeting in Los Angeles. And she'll be showing off her cycling skills at the competition.

Jamie Hopper fell in love with riding bikes since she was eight. Once she's off, there's no stopping her.

"If I go fast, you won't catch up," said Jamie. "Sorry, come on."

Jamie's family found out about her cognitive disorder when she was three. Her mom describes it as a light switch going on and off in her brain.

But, it hasn't stopped Jamie from doing what she loves.

"I'm so excited I got picked," said Jamie.

Jamie was picked to compete in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games for cycling. Only one woman cyclist from Washington gets chosen to compete.

"The race, meeting new kids would be nice," said Jamie.

"She just has a real good attitude when it comes to practice and training," said Jamie's coach Dean Long.

"What's your favorite part about biking? KIMA asked.
"I love to do...come up," said Jamie. "I like to ride my bike and practice every week and I like to race my sisters too!"

And, I'll tell you that catching up to Jamie wasn't an easy task.

"She likes going fast on the bike," said Dean. "That's for sure."

Jamie gets on her bike once a week to train. And, she's got two gold medals from competing in the state's Special Olympics.

"There you go, I'm back woo hoo!" said Jamie.

And before you know it, she's already back to where she started.

You can help by making a donation for Jamie's new bike at Yakima's Valley Cycling and Fitness.