Skiatook Woman Brings Home Gold Medal In Paralympics Volleyball

Sunday, October 9th 2016, 4:29 pm
By: Tess Maune

The U.S. Paralympian sitting volleyball team made history in Rio this summer - as the first USA women's sitting team to ever bring home the gold. Team member and gold medalist Tia Edwards calls Skiatook home. She wasn't wearing the medal when we spoke to her, but she had it close by.

"I didn't actually take it off for like two days," said Tia Edwards, Paralympic gold medalist.

"It was awesome."

Just like the memory of the moment the U.S. women's sitting volleyball team won the gold.

"My heart just dropped and I just ran out there, and I was crying because I was so happy," she said. 

Tia started playing volleyball when she was about 13. The sport came naturally to her, even though she was born without a left hand. She made the U.S. sitting team three years ago and played in the Paralympic games in Rio.

"This is who I am. I like it. I like being who I am. I like being unique. I'm very thankful. I wouldn't have it any other way," she said.

Tia and her teammates proved they are very able.

"It's just like the Olympics - just disabled," she said. "We always have this battle between us and China."

The team beat China in the finals with ease and were named best overall Paralympian team.  They got to meet President Obama, the First Lady, Vice President and some of the Olympians they admire.

"I got to meet Murphy Troy and David Lee," said Tia Edwards, a Paralympic gold medalist from Skiatook. "They're the men's standing national team. I love them."

Tia also loves representing the United States. She said getting to do that is as good as gold.

I love wearing the USA across my chest," Tia said. "It's literally the best feeling in the world, and I wouldn't want to do it any other way."

The U.S. men and women's sitting volleyball teams train on UCO campus in Edmond. Tia is a junior there - studying to be a physical therapist.