UTA Paralympians Roll Their Way to Rio Gold

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ARLINGTON -- A pair of Movin' Mavs is taking shake, rattle and roll to a different level.

"I just keep looking at it like, 'Oh, it's still there. It still happened. It actually happened,'" said UTA wheelchair basketball player Rose Hollermann.

The distinct rattling sound coming from Hollermann and teammate Abby Dunkin's hands Sunday was straight out of their Paralympic gold medals.

"Everyone just had tears of excitement and joy," Dunkin said. "It was just beyond amazing."

That medal, uniquely Paralympic with its rattling beads and Braille writing is a perfect example of the extra struggle these adaptive athletes overcame to get to Rio this year.

"I have a T11, T12 incomplete spinal cord injury, and in that car accident I also lost two of my brothers," Hollermann said. "I play basketball for my family, and for my mom and my dad and my three brothers."

Hollermann has been in a chair since she was young, the victim of a car accident, but victim doesn't describe her. She's the collegiate player of the year and now, a gold medalist.

So how did her family react?

"My dad just yells, and my mom cries, so that was the conversation," Hollermann laughed.

Dunkin found the sport by watching Team USA on YouTube just a couple years ago. Then she became part of it.

"This has been a whirlwind," Dunkin said. "I never thought any of this existed. I never thought I could get to this level. Being on wheels has definitely got me more opportunities than I ever would`ve got on my feet."

So with a collegiate national title in the spring and now a pair of golds this summer, does anybody think other teams might be a bit rattled to take the court against UT Arlington's ladies this year?

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