Countless memories to take from 2007, but these are my top 5

Bringing it HomeJoelle MilholmGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

It was another exciting year for me reporting on sports for the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. It is always fun reporting on every sport known to man, from the conventional basketball and football to ski mountaineering and gymnastics.A few stories stood out, and I wanted to share my top five:

Words can’t describe how amazing I think Nancy Stevens is and how I am awed by her abilities to compete as a paralympic skier and triathlete as a blind woman, when most people can’t do those things with sight.But when she brought 13 women to Glenwood Springs to teach them how to swim, bike and run with their guides, giving most of them a chance to compete above and beyond anything they had ever done before, it was truly breathtaking. She is an amazing woman that has touched so many people’s lives, and I feel privileged to have been able to watch her work her magic and write about it.

I have covered three of these now, but this year’s included one of the most touching moments of my life. I have always admired Paul Driskill and his relentless determination to pursue his passion of running, but seeing him cross that finish line three months after nearly dying in a hit-and-run accident brought tears to my eyes. It was unbelievable.While I just wrote a story on the general race and Mike Vidakovich wrote one on Driskill, I feel blessed to have been there to see him finish his 21st Turkey Trot.

This Cardinals team was one of the most enjoyable and charismatic teams I have had the opportunity to cover, and they made the trip to Pueblo more than worth my while. An unbelievable underdog story, they battled round after round to bring home the golden ball. It was so much fun to see the joy they had playing the game and how much happiness they brought to their fans.After the Cards beat Burlington 84-75 for the crown, it was so fun to talk to the players about the memorable season – especially when I made my way toward Luke Braby and the 6-foot-5 senior picked me up off the ground for a hug before the interview.

The Glenwood Springs and Rifle girls basketball teams were a pleasure to cover. Triple overtime, one overtime, game-winning shots – in their two league battles they gave me so much to work with I could have written a book. Then I went to Craig to see them play in regionals and things got even crazier.Rifle knocked off top-ranked Moffat 69-60 in overtime in the Bulldogs’ house and Glenwood sends home Pueblo Central to set up a regional championship between the Demons and the Bears. The Demons won, earning a trip to the semis, but the weekend and the rivalry matchups were enough to give me a heart attack – in a good, on-the-edge-of-your-seat way.

I am not going to lie, before this season I had covered wrestling as many times as the Rockies have won the World Series. Going down to state was an experience like none other I had ever seen. I had no idea prep wrestlers could sell out the Pepsi Center.As if that wasn’t cool enough to see, then I got to witness Rifle senior Tim Long fight his way through his bracket and bring home a state championship. The look on his face, which was the same as the one on his father, brother and coaches, was a priceless view of triumph. Contact Joelle Milholm:

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