‘Mission accomplished’: Wiscasset’s Anna McDougal returns from world medal-winning trip to Austria

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 10:15am

Anna McDougal came home to Wiscasset this week tired and happy.

“Mission accomplished,” McDougal said in a phone interview Monday, a day after family and news media met her and the rest of Maine’s Special Olympics contingent at the Portland Jetport. Her trip to the World Winter Games in Austria was the best experience in her lifetime, McDougal, who has Down Syndrome, said. “It was amazing.”

The silver and bronze skiing medals she won were personal victories dedicated to the memory of her late grandfather Harry Shartar and they showed she had overcome a set of injuries, McDougal said; the trip felt like she was with family, a family of people who all love skiing, like she does; it’s a family she is now a part of, she said.

“It comes from love,” McDougal continued, when asked how she reached her accomplishments on the slopes. “Love of skiing, and sharing that with other people.”

She was proud to represent Maine in Austria and is enjoying being back with her family after the long trip home. She got to see the municipal building’s message board read, “Congratulations Anna McDougal.”

“That was great.” She also spoke of the sign her nephew and nieces made to welcome her at the airport. The sign had hearts, skis and other designs and messages including “you did it.”

Besides the support of her family, McDougal expressed thanks Monday for her coaches who believed in her; and the physical therapy personnel who helped her be ready to compete at the Games. To have them all be so proud of her is like a dream come true, she said.

Asked what’s next for her in skiing, McDougal said she would like to get to ski with her role model Lindsey Vahn at a Vermont event in November. Knowing Vahn overcame an injury helped her overcome hers, McDougal said.

In addition to the silver and bronze, she came home with a medal she and family members said she got for coming second with a unified team at the Games.