GRIT.>>I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO MEET UP>>I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO MEET UP WITH HER AT THE NATIONAL TENNIS WITH HER AT THE NATIONAL TENNIS CENTER. CENTER. WE TALKED ABOUT HOW SHE GOT INTO WE TALKED ABOUT HOW SHE GOT INTO THE SPORT, AND I FOUND OUT THE SPORT, AND I FOUND OUT FIRSTHAND HOW GOOD SHE REALLY FIRSTHAND HOW GOOD SHE REALLY IS. IS.>>I DEFINITELY DID NOT THINK I>>I DEFINITELY DID NOT THINK I WOULD BE PLAYING SPORTS BECAUSE WOULD BE PLAYING SPORTS BECAUSE I GUESS WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT I GUESS WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT SPORTS, YOU WOULDN’T ASSOCIATE SPORTS, YOU WOULDN’T ASSOCIATE IT WITH SOMEONE WITH A IT WITH SOMEONE WITH A DISABILITY. DISABILITY.>>JOANNA NEVER DREAMED SHE>>JOANNA NEVER DREAMED SHE WOULD BE A TENNIS CHAMPION. WOULD BE A TENNIS CHAMPION. JOANNA WAS BORN WITHWITH, WINNIN JOANNA WAS BORN WITHWITH, WINNIN COMPETITIONS ALL OVER THE WORLD. COMPETITIONS ALL OVER THE WORLD.>>AT WHAT AGE DID YOU PICK UP>>AT WHAT AGE DID YOU PICK UP YOUR FIRST RACKET. YOUR FIRST RACKET.>>I STARTED PLAYING AT THE>>I STARTED PLAYING AT THE NATIONAL TENNIS CENTER FOR THE NATIONAL TENNIS CENTER FOR THE WHEELCHAIR TENNIS PROGRAM WHEN I WHEELCHAIR TENNIS PROGRAM WHEN I WAS ABOUT 10 YEARS OLD. WAS ABOUT 10 YEARS OLD. I REALLY LIKED IT, SO I KEPT I REALLY LIKED IT, SO I KEPT PLAYING IN TOURNAMENTS AND PLAYING IN TOURNAMENTS AND STUFF. STUFF.>>DID YOU TRY OTHER SPORTS OR>>DID YOU TRY OTHER SPORTS OR DID YOU KNOW TENNIS WAS THE DID YOU KNOW TENNIS WAS THE SPORT YOU WANTED TO PLAY. SPORT YOU WANTED TO PLAY.>>I WENT TO A FEW PLACES TO TRY>>I WENT TO A FEW PLACES TO TRY OTHER SPORTS LIKE SLED HOCKEY, OTHER SPORTS LIKE SLED HOCKEY, AND WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL AND AND WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL AND ADAPTIVE SKIING ALSO. ADAPTIVE SKIING ALSO.>>Reporter: YOU’RE ON YOUR HIGH>>Reporter: YOU’RE ON YOUR HIGH SCHOOL VARSITY TEAM, AND YOU’RE SCHOOL VARSITY TEAM, AND YOU’RE NOT ONLY PLAYING AGAINST NOT ONLY PLAYING AGAINST WHEELCHAIR ATHLETES, ARE PEOPLE WHEELCHAIR ATHLETES, ARE PEOPLE INTIMIDATED BY YOU SINCE YOU ARE INTIMIDATED BY YOU SINCE YOU ARE SO GOOD? SO GOOD?>>I DON’T KNOW IF THEY’RE>>I DON’T KNOW IF THEY’RE INTIMIDATED BY ME, BUT I THINK INTIMIDATED BY ME, BUT I THINK I’M JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE I’M JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE PLAYING TENNIS. PLAYING TENNIS.>>THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IN THE>>THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IN THE RULES FOR WHEELCHAIR TENNIS IS RULES FOR WHEELCHAIR TENNIS IS JOANNA GETS TWO BOUNCES TO HIT JOANNA GETS TWO BOUNCES TO HIT HER SHOT. HER SHOT. SOMETHING SHE RARELY NEEDS. SOMETHING SHE RARELY NEEDS. HER PARENTS BELINDA AND JASON HER PARENTS BELINDA AND JASON NEVER THOUGHT SPORTS WOULD BE A NEVER THOUGHT SPORTS WOULD BE A PART OF JO ANNA’S LIFE. PART OF JO ANNA’S LIFE.>>WHEELCHAIR TENNIS IS VERY INT>>WHEELCHAIR TENNIS IS VERY INT GRAYTIVE GRAYTIVE — INT. — INT.>>WE ARE SO PROUD SHE WAS ABLE>>WE ARE SO PROUD SHE WAS ABLE TO FIND SOMETHING SHE LOVES TO TO FIND SOMETHING SHE LOVES TO DO, AND SHE HAS BEEN ENJOYING DO, AND SHE HAS BEEN ENJOYING HERSELF. HERSELF.>>I WAS VERY EXCITED TO PLAY>>I WAS VERY EXCITED TO PLAY WITH JOANNA. WITH JOANNA. THOUGH I QUICKLY REALIZED I WAS THOUGH I QUICKLY REALIZED I WAS NOT MUCH OF AN OPPONENT. NOT MUCH OF AN OPPONENT. OH, SORRY. OH, SORRY. SHOOT. SHOOT. OOPS. OOPS. OH, GEEZ. OH, GEEZ. THAT ONE HAD SOME SPIN ON IT. THAT ONE HAD SOME SPIN ON IT. THANKS FOR PUTTING UP WITH ME. THANKS FOR PUTTING UP WITH ME. IT WAS FUN TO PLAY. IT WAS FUN TO PLAY.>>I THINK BODY IMAGE IS VERY>>I THINK BODY IMAGE IS VERY HARD FOR GIRLS, AND ESPECIALLY HARD FOR GIRLS, AND ESPECIALLY FOR GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES, SO FOR GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES, SO I THINK THAT SPORTS HAS BEEN I THINK THAT SPORTS HAS BEEN REALLY WONDERFUL FOR JOANNA, AND REALLY WONDERFUL FOR JOANNA, AND I THINK IT WOULD BE WONDERFUL I THINK IT WOULD BE WONDERFUL FOR LOTS OF GIRLS WITH FOR LOTS OF GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES BECAUSE THEY CAN DISABILITIES BECAUSE THEY CAN THEN SAY, LOOK WHAT MY BODY CAN THEN SAY, LOOK WHAT MY BODY CAN DO. DO.>>YOU’RE SUCH AN INSPIRATION TO>>YOU’RE SUCH AN INSPIRATION TO OTHER GIRLS THAT YOU CAN REALLY OTHER GIRLS THAT YOU CAN REALLY DO WHATEVER YOU PUT YOUR MIND DO WHATEVER YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO. TO.>>I DON’T THINK OF MYSELF AS AN>>I DON’T THINK OF MYSELF AS AN INSPIRATION, I SEE MYSELF AS INSPIRATION, I SEE MYSELF AS JUST ANYBODY ELSE WHO DOES WHAT JUST ANYBODY ELSE WHO DOES WHAT THEY LIKE TO DO. THEY LIKE TO DO.>>GOOD FOR HER.>>GOOD FOR HER.>>SHE’S INCREDIBLE, AND SHE>>SHE’S INCREDIBLE, AND SHE TOLD ME SHE HOPES ONE DAY TO TOLD ME SHE HOPES ONE DAY TO COMPETE IF THE PARAOLYMPICS. COMPETE IF THE PARAOLYMPICS. IT’S INTIM DATING WALKING ON THE IT’S INTIM DATING WALKING ON THE KOURLT KOURLT COURT, SHE’S WHIPPING HER CHAIR COURT, SHE’S WHIPPING HER CHAIR AROUND. AROUND.>>THE CHANGE OF DIRECTION IN>>THE CHANGE OF DIRECTION IN THE CHAIR IS INCREDIBLE. THE CHAIR IS INCREDIBLE.>>AS PROUD OF WE ARE AS JOANNA,>>AS PROUD OF WE ARE AS JOANNA, I’M SO HAPPY FOR HER PARENTS. I’M SO HAPPY FOR HER PARENTS.>>THEY’RE SO PROUD.>>THEY’RE SO PROUD.>>YES, YES.>>YES, YES.>>AND THEY PLAY WITH HER ALL>>AND THEY PLAY WITH HER ALL THE TIME. THE TIME.>>AND WHEN YOU SEE THAT, AS A>>AND WHEN YOU SEE THAT, AS A FATHER KWHOSTWHO’S GOT A SPECIAL FATHER KWHOSTWHO’S GOT A SPECIAL OLYMPIAN, YOU FEEL SO GOOD NOT OLYMPIAN, YOU FEEL SO GOOD NOT ONLY ABOUT YOUR CHILD BUT ALL ONLY ABOUT YOUR CHILD BUT ALL THE OTHER KIDS WHO ARE TAKING THE OTHER KIDS WHO ARE TAKING PART THIS THIS. PART THIS THIS. THERE’S THIS WHOLE LEGION OF THERE’S THIS WHOLE LEGION OF THEM THAT FINDS SOMETHING TO DO, THEM THAT FINDS SOMETHING TO DO, AND ARE ABLE TO EXCEL. AND ARE ABLE TO EXCEL.>>SHE DOESN’T THINK OF HERSELF

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Dennis Veasley

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