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How Volleyball Player Katie Holloway Is Coping With Paralympic Games Postponement

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Finally today, let's check in one last time with an athlete who would have been in Tokyo this summer competing at the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics had the games not been postponed because of the pandemic. Today we hear from Paralympian Katie Holloway, captain of the U.S. Women's Sitting Volleyball Team.

KATIE HOLLOWAY: I am a three-time Paralympian. I am a one-time gold medalist and two-time silver medalist. I have been on the team for 15 years now. Before I became a Paralympian and before I even was involved in Paralympic sport, I was the first female amputee to play Division 1 basketball in NCAA history at Cal State Northridge. You know, when the games got postponed, it upended my entire plans of quitting my job and going to the games and making that a pinnacle of my year, as well as getting married later this year.

It really postponed a lot of what I thought I was going to do. And it turns out I just found a different plan and made it happen anyway. So for the first time this summer, I've really taken a step back and recognized how much the postponement was a way of life saying it's OK to slow down. It's OK to upend your career to make a change that's better for your life. And you can still accomplish your dreams. They're just going to have to wait till next year.

FADEL: And to inspire her on that journey, Holloway says she turns to Beyonce and her recently released "Black Is King" visual album.

HOLLOWAY: There was multiple songs in there that I really loved. But what's on repeat now is the song called "My Power."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MY POWER")

BEYONCE AND NIJA: (Singing) They'll never take my power, my power, my power. They feel a way. Oh, wow. They feel a way. Oh, wow.

HOLLOWAY: To me, I can visualize the women in it that are dancing and what it means to me and what it probably means to the other women listening to it. So I'm all about bringing up women empowerment. And I think that there's a lot going on in our country with the racial injustices that it speaks to. And so for me, it was - it's that, like, revival of strength and power in both women and people of color. So that's the song that's been on repeat.

FADEL: That's Katie Holloway, captain of Team USA's Women's Sitting Volleyball team. She and her teammates will be going for another medal at the Paralympics next summer in Tokyo.

[POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: An earlier headline for this report incorrectly described volleyball player Katie Holloway as coping with the postponement of the Olympic Games. Holloway is planning to compete in the Paralympic Games next year.] Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Corrected: August 19, 2020 at 12:00 AM EDT
An earlier headline for this report incorrectly described volleyball player Katie Holloway as coping with the postponement of the Olympic Games. Holloway is planning to compete in the Paralympic Games next year.
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