Caroline Backus an Inspirational Student Athlete at Independence High

Caroline Backus
Caroline Backus
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When you first meet Caroline one can only be impressed by her passion to live her life to its fullest and to accomplish all that is possible. Caroline has a disability, however, she was determined to make the track team and do the hard work it would take to ensure she will be able to compete. She is a joy and an inspiration, this writer was overwhelmed by her enthusiasm and dedication to show others what she can achieve.

What running does for Caroline is give her the feeling of freedom. She can be herself and let the stress of having a physical disability go away. I want people to see me and get to know me as a person without having a disability, said Caroline. “I’m just like any other freshman at Indy who is attending school to get a better education and enjoy being a kid.”

School can be challenging at times since she has special needs, however, Caroline will concentrate on her studies and prepare herself to attend practice. She mentioned Coach Waldron has been fantastic and works really well with her. She uses a “To Do List” to keep important school work and events in priority order on a daily basis. It keeps her organized and focused on the tasks she must get done.

She is so excited and psyched to be at Indy because the teachers, coaches and students treat her as just another freshman on campus. In middle school she was not allowed to compete or even participate on a team so becoming a Patriot is a dream come true.

Caroline competes in the 55 meter dash and is working with the coaches on learning the finer techniques of the shot-put. She also qualified for the states in the 55 meter dash with a 22.0 second finish easily smashing the minimum requirement to qualify of 26.0 seconds.
She wants to show what Caroline can accomplish and her main objective was to become part of a team.

Again, Coach Waldron has been very accommodating and supportive of her goals. Being part of a team is like having an extended family, said Caroline.

What also motivates this young lady is when people say she cannot do something because of her disability she wants to show them yes it can be done. Therefore, she always maintains a positive mental attitude and avoids all negativity. Her biggest challenge is to get accustom to the sound of the gun going off at the beginning of a race.

She wants to live her life to its full potential. Caroline possesses high energy, has a can do attitude, and wants no regrets. She views herself like the bunny on the “Energizer Battery” commercials and keeps on ticking.

Caroline participates in basketball outside of school and plays with the Rollin’ Hornets. Through this program Caroline was able to meet the Hornet players and the Honey Bees. She is also a surfer in a program called Life Rolls-On Foundation, at Carolina Beach. She uses a surfboard and actually surfs on her stomach to ride the waves to the shore. “When I surf I’m free, I’m a regular teenage girl enjoying life, according to Caroline.”

Up Close and Personal with Caroline:
• Most influential people in her life are first her family. Mom and Dad have been unbelievable, my grandparents and entire family. “I’m so thankful to them and the opportunities they have given me to live a normal life.” Then her coaches like Coach Mike in basketball, Coach Dave Kiley (DK), most recently Coach Waldron. They have all made a difference in my life and it’s much appreciated.

• Favorite college teams are UCONN Huskies, women’s basketball and N.C. State football.
• Favorite professional teams are the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte Hornets.
• Best music is Pop, Country, and the 80’s.
• Favorite movie is Central Intelligence.
• Most liked academic subjects are Science and International Studies.

• Least favorite subject is math, however, she is working on self-improvement.
• Prerace ritual always includes taking a few deep breaths to relax and focus on race.
• Advice to teammates is to never give up and always do things with a smile. Always try your hardest and give it your all.

Playing basketball competitively
Playing basketball competitively
Surfing for Fun
Surfing for Fun
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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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