Jungling goes for gold in the Special Olympics

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Courtesy of Morgan Jungling
This March, Morgan Jungling, left, and her teammate Billy Connor, are competing in the Special Olympics in Austria.

BY
MANAGING SPORTS EDITOR

Nineteen years after being diagnosed with Buccal–Lingual dyspraxia, a speech disorder that affects the ability to transform thoughts into words, Morgan Jungling can “say everything now.”

This March, the 21-year-old is bringing her improved speech to Austria –– as she competes in the 2017 Special Olympics Winter Games as a member of the U.S. team.

“I’ll be in intermediate for skiing, alpine skiing,” Jungling said. “On March 23, I have my divisioning for my giant slalom and then the finals right after that. And then on the 23rd, I have my slalom.”

The Newark resident received two gold medals during the U.S. time trials in Connecticut last year.

As she heads to Austria, Jungling is one of four Delaware residents on the U.S. team, which comprises of 210 people. She departed on March 12 and will compete in the two cities of Graz and Schladming for two weeks.

While this is Jungling’s international Olympic debut, she is not new to the U.S. team. In 2014, she participated in the U.S. games, located in Trenton, N.J. During this time, she played on Team Delaware for basketball, “scoring 23 points while playing point guard.”

Jungling said she first found out about the Special Olympics when she was seven years old, through conversations with her parents and her doctor. As a 16-year-old, she decided to get involved.

“They talked about that I could do Special Olympics because I qualified for it,” Jungling said. “They need your doctor’s diagnostic and all of that.”

As her interest in the Special Olympics grew, Jungling also prioritized improving her speech –– and, after years of therapy and practice, she proudly shares the results.

“When I was a baby, I [couldn’t] even say ‘want,’ but it’s in my brain but I can’t even say it out,” Jungling said. “But I got better by speech. When I speak slow, I am a normal kid.”

These personal developments are evident in the confidence displayed by that the second-year Delaware student.

“Special Olympics mean to me that they help me overcoming my boundaries and now I’m a social butterfly around people,” Jungling said.

Once she returns from Austria, Jungling will resume her coursework. She’s currently taking one class at the university –– Introduction to Exercise Science. This course follows studies in Anatomy and Physiology last year.

“I really want to be a physical therapy assistant because I’m prone to have injuries and I want to prevent them,” Jungling said.

These career aspirations follow a highly motivated vision for Jungling, who is also a sister of the Gamma Sigma Sigma service sorority and an employee at a local Walgreen’s store.

For the time being, though, Jungling has her mind set on the Olympic Games.

“First off, I’m gonna be way too excited and hyper and then I will say to myself that I can get a gold medal or a silver medal,” Jungling said. “I’ll be happy and excited.”

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