Special Olympics: Gymnast Janna Blowers - FOX 32 News Chicago

Special Olympics: Gymnast Janna Blowers

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - If you don't believe big things come in small packages, than you haven't met Janna Blowers of Geneva. What this Team Illinois gymnast lacks in size, she makes up for with hard work.

"She was very sick as an infant," said Janna’s mom Betsy.

She was so sick that Betsy didn't know if her daughter would ever take steps.

"She walked very late, 3 years old. She had braces on her legs, but look how far she's come," added Betsy.

After years of physical therapy, Janna is now ready to compete at the USA games in New Jersey.

"When she was starting out, she was very timid," Betsy said.

Her gymnastics coach Heather Giza remembers a quiet little girl with a ton of potential.

"She has heart," said Giza.

Janna also isn't that shy after all.

"When she opens up, she is like a little firecracker, it's awesome," added Giza.

Betsy chimed in, "She’s not one to show it right away, but she has a great personality."

And that personality has blossomed like Janna's skills in the gym.

"She texts me all the time. She will ask how my kids are and ask for pictures of them," Giza said.

That, plus her commitment, leaves Janna perfectly positioned to help Team Illinois.

"It gives her energy. It gives her motivation,” Giza said.

That motivation has been tested every day for 11 years, because the beams got higher and so did the bars. There are falls, but it doesn't keep Janna from getting up and trying again. Her courage and belief in herself is what got her to the USA games.

"To think my daughter would be chosen for that honor is incredible," said Betsy.

An honor and an opportunity for the athlete who really does prove that big things come in small packages.

“The USA games will really bring it out in her…she is going to be a little rock star. I'm very proud of her," Giza added.

Giza tells FOX 32 News that she predicts Janna will place in the top 5 at the USA games.

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