Olympic excitement continued during early September in Rio de Janeiro with the 2016 Paralympic Games. For 11 days, more than 4,000 athletes from 176 countries wowed the world with remarkable athletic performances in 23 different sports. One of those athletes was UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling’s Shawn Morelli, who brought home two gold medals and set a new Olympic record.
Shawn rode to gold in the individual pursuit (a 3,000-meter race between two cyclists around a velodrome track), dipping under four minutes – a new Paralympic record. Her second win came in the individual time trial, a road event where she beat fellow American Megan Fisher by more than 30 seconds.
Shawn was focused on securing the top spot in the individual pursuit and said she was “willing to put [her] body through whatever [she] had to, to get gold.” And, when Shawn did and stood on the podium with that national anthem playing? “It was just really surreal,” she said. “I was happy to be there, happy to be in the red, white and blue, happy to be able to accomplish that.”
“It’s kind of what I live by – you’re going to have ups and downs in life,” Shawn said. “The biggest thing I can tell people is be resilient, persevere and don’t give up. You can always take that next step and move forward.”
UnitedHealthcare and Optum were proud sponsors of NBC’s television coverage of the Olympic Games. Americas Medical City – the largest medical complex in Rio de Janeiro and part of UnitedHealth Group – was also the official hospital and medical center of the Olympics and Paralympics. The Olympic Games reflect our shared values of integrity, compassion, relationships, innovation and performance, and mirror our commitment to draw the world closer together in good health.
Writing courtesy of UnitedHealth Group Corporate Communications.