A Lincoln native will participate in the Paraolympics in Rio
LINCOLN, Neb. Lora Webster Bargellini will be on the sitting volleyball team for the fourth time and she’s hoping for a gold.
Lora Webster Bargellini grew up here in Lincoln. She was diagnosed with Osetosarcoma when she was 11. It’s a type of bone cancer in her right leg. Doctors gave her three options to remove the tumor. She chose to have them take out her knee joint and entire femur, then rotate her foot 180 degrees.
"It was not a difficult choice for me because they told me the active lifestyle that I would continue to have and that was the only option good for me. I knew that I wanted to get back to life as I knew it before." Said Lora Webster Bargellini, Paraolympics Athlete
She wanted to remain physically active, so she continued to play volleyball except this time sitting.
"The first thing that everyone notices is how much harder it is. Because it’s such a faster pace sport the reaction time is much quicker and since you don’t have your legs to move to the ball you have to use your hands to move but you still have to play with your hands." Webster Said
Lora won the state volleyball championship her senior year of high school and went on to play on the U.S.A. omen’s sitting volleyball team in Athens in 2004. She says being in the Paraolympics was a whole new world.
"So for the first time in my life I spent time around people who understand what I had gone through and maybe understood what life was like with a prosthetic or lifting limb." Webster Said
Webster has played in the Paraoylmpics the past 12 years including Beijing, London and now Rio. She plans to get her fourth medal.
"I’m so incredibly honored and so incredibly blessed! I never could have imagined in my life I would be there and I’m incredibly fortunate. And I would not change a thing! Cancer and all, I would keep it all the way it is!"
The Paraolympics opening ceremony will be September 7th. The volleyball matches will begin on the 10th.