What It Takes To Raise An Olympian

Our story begins with a little girl whose perseverance to survive astonished not only us, but the doctors as well. Having been born at 4 lbs 6 ounces and labeled as “failure to thrive” life has been a challenge.

Laney is the second of three daughters. She entered this world with strong determination and gusto. After years of testing, Laney was finally diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome. Prior to her diagnosis, we knew Laney was facing serious challenges, however, we were determined that Laney would have as normal a life as possible. With low muscle tone and developmental delays, we knew right away that it would take a special person to overcome the challenges that she faced.

Through extensive research, it became obvious that Colorado offered resources that would not only address our daughter’s challenges, but provide a better quality of life for our entire family. Therefore, in 2002 we moved our family to Evergreen, Colorado.

Laney soon showed an interest in skiing and we began to focus our attention on the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) in Winter Park, Colorado. This program gave our daughter the opportunity to not only excel at what she enjoys, but meet new friends, which can prove to be a challenge with people with disabilities. Goals are set and the athletes train accordingly. From the onset, our daughter had her sights set on an Olympic medal in alpine racing.


Winter Park Ski Resort has been instrumental in making our daughter’s dreams come true. As a family, we have become active in the NSCD, Ski Patrol and Competition Center. The NSCD gave us access to the Special Olympics and this is where Laney was able to achieve her dreams of becoming an Olympian. Through great coaching, tough training and race eliminations, Laney has been able to follow her goals of being a top athlete in her field. Every Olympic family has a unique story about their journey.

This is what it takes to raise our Olympian.

-Janet Reznik, mother of Laney (age 18 with PWS)

About pwsatoday

PWSA (USA) is an organization of families and professionals working together to raise awareness, offer support, provide education and advocacy, and promote and fund research to enhance the quality of life of those affected by Prader-Willi syndrome.
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