‘This is my absolute dream’: Salem student trains for Tokyo

Athlete of the Week

Annie Flood is on a journey to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A student at South Salem High School is on a journey to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

KOIN 6 News first met Annie Flood two years ago when she playing volleyball as a freshman.

But now, Annie is repping the right, white and blue instead of a Saxons uniform.

The teen — who had part of her right leg amputated when she was a baby — has her sights set on the Paralympic Games.

“As much as I stress out about it, as much as I’m worried, as much as I’m like ‘I can’t do this’ — I did do this,” Annie said. “I’m training with the team. Like, I am training with the national sitting volleyball team. It doesn’t get better than that.”

Annie leaves for Tokyo in just weeks to compete against five other countries in the Super 6 Tournament.

“This was a big deal to me because if I didn’t make the roster then I wasn’t eligible for the 2020 Paralympics so that kind of puts me into that eligibility pool,” she said.

Annie still has work to do. There are 14 athletes competing for just 12 spots. Annie is the youngest person on the roster at 16. She said she’s received some sage advice from a teammate who knows exactly what it’s like to balance the demands of the national team and high school.

“She’s just always told ’em — you’re in high school, there are going to be sacrifices you’re going to have to make but you have to keep in mind this is an opportunity that most people will not get,” Annie said.

The young athlete knows how hard she’s worked to put herself in a position to compete on the international stage. She will be carrying that confidence with her to Japan.

“This is all I can do — all I can do is my best. I can control my attitude and my effort and that is what I’m going to do, that’s what my dad has always told me, so that’s what I’m going to do,” she said. “I’m going to work my hardest because this is my absolute dream.”

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