For Hub City Times
MADISON – Daina Shilts of Neillsville was honored on Nov. 7 at the beginning of the Wisconsin State Assembly floor session. State Representative Bob Kulp (R- Stratford) gave the following floor speech in Daina’s honor.
“Daina Shilts is a special individual for more than one reason,” he said. “She has several disabilities, one of which is Niemann Syndrome. Niemann Syndrome is a condition in which the body lacks a certain enzyme that helps move and break down cholesterol and other lipids inside your cells. It can result in a variety of problems, including motor functions and learning disabilities.
“Despite her struggles growing up, Daina had a dream of becoming an athlete. Starting at the age of eight, Daina began skiing. She soon switched over to snowboarding. I can’t even imagine myself on a snowboard going downhill and trying to avoid rocks and trees.
“But, Daina does this with grace and exceptional speed. She is so good at snowboarding, that she participated in the Special Olympics World Games in 2013 and 2017, competing against athletes from across the globe. Daina recorded the fastest time of any snowboarder competing at the 2017 Special Olympics World Games, outperforming all the men and the women in her field.
“Daina won four gold medals in her sport, four gold medals. Her accomplishments have received much recognition, including an honorary Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) Award at the 2017 ESPY Awards that was held in Los Angeles.
“When I heard from my friends and neighbors about of this honor. Daina, through her hard work and perseverance overcame the odds to achieve her dreams of competing at the highest levels and inspiring others. I want to recognize this outstanding individual for her hard work and personal achievements that inspire our community and state.”