Ochoa-Rocha, who is mildly cognitively impaired, is preparing for the 2014 USA Games, which will take place at Princeton University’s campus from June 14-21.
The standout, who is being sponsored by Multi-State Insurance Center in Grand Haven, will compete in the shot put, mini javelin, and the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
Ochoa-Rocha has been working up a sweat to get ready for the event, running, throwing and lifting weights regularly.
“It’s hard,” Ochoa-Rocha said of the training. “Sometimes I think that he’s trying to kill me or something.”
He, is Dave Holben, a coach with more than 25 years of experience in Special Olympics, who has been training Ochoa-Rocha since December.
Holben said she is one of the more “determined” athletes he’s ever worked with.
“Because of her natural light-hearted approach to things, everything works,” Holben said. “There’s no discouragement. I haven’t seen a day of discouragement.
“I’ve seen her very, very tired, and I’ll say, ‘Ah, you don’t look so good, do you want to sit down for a minute?’ She sits down and then she’s right up, ‘Lets go again.’ That’s fun when you’re working with an athlete like that.”
To help Ochoa-Rocha with the cost of the trip, you can donate at http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/SOMIAD/newjersey.
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