Junior Olympian appreciates her community

Posted 8/12/21

Despite a rocky start, 11-year-old Madison Maitland placed fourth in the nation...

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Junior Olympian appreciates her community

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OKEECHOBEE — Despite a rocky start, 11-year-old Madison Maitland placed fourth in the nation at the AAU Junior Olympics in Humble Texas.

Madison, who is a third-year athlete with Pahokee Elite Track Club lives in Okeechobee and attends South Elementary School, where she maintains an A/B honor roll ranking and serves on the safety patrol.

Madison attended the 2019 AAU Junior Olympics and claimed the title of champion, performing in 9-year-old shotput and javelin. Unfortunately, she was unable to compete in 2020 due to COVID-19.

With help from the community, Madison was able to compete again this year, but due to a shortage of workers, her flight was canceled the day before the event. Her parents immediately shifted gears and they travel over 15 hours by car leaving Madison with only four hours to rest prior to competition.

“Coach Johnson challenged me to clear my mind and give it my all. As I waited to complete, I reminded myself that there are over 15,000 athletes in attendance from around the world. We all have one goal and that’s to win or medal. With one more attempt, I was able to overcome this obstacle and become a 2021 AAU ALL-AMERICAN in the 11-Year Old Girls Shot-Put placing 4th in the Nation.” Madison later competed in the 11-Year Old Girls Javelin and placed 11th overall.

“Thank you Lake Okeechobee! Due to your prayers, contribution and well wishes, this medal is for you!”

Junior Olympics

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