Three Speedy Sisters Land 2016 SportsKids of the Year Title
Rising track stars Tai, Rainn and Brooke Sheppard-aged 11, 10, and 9- have earned the title of SportsKids of the Year 2016.
Every year since 2007, Sports Illustrated for Kids has chosen to spotlight a young athlete between the ages of 7 to 15 who has demonstrated impressive performance in school and on the field. This year, the Sheppard sisters will share the title after all 3 qualified for the 2016 AAU Junior Olympic Games in Houston. The sisters have also shown that they’re willing to do what it takes to overcome the odds- they along with their mother were evicted from their home in September 2015 and have been living in a homeless shelter ever since.
The girls all have big plans for their futures, with college and even the Olympics in their plans.
“I plan to go to the Olympics one day in [a distance race],” 10-year-old Rainn told Sports Illustrated for Kids. “My track and field goals are just to keep getting emotionally and physically stronger. It’s all about what’s inside, in your mind. You have to say: You can do this, you can do this.”
“My goals are to get faster as a runner and jump higher,” said 9-year-old Brooke. “For college, I would want to stay nearby so I can see how the team’s doing.”
“We hear a lot about the obstacles that athletes have to overcome to succeed. But very few have coped with what these sisters—and their mom—have faced,” Mark Bechtel, managing editor of Sports Illustrated Kids tells Time. “They’ve done it with grace and poise. Their efforts have been phenomenal—and inspiring.”
Read more about these talented and encouraging sisters over at Sports Illustrated Kids.
Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated/Instagram