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Gold Medalist - Stephanie Wheeler
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Meet one of Norlina's finest, Stephanie Wheeler - Norlina Native

Gold medal winner Stephanie Wheeler was honored by her home town of Norlina with the key to the city presented by Mayor Dwight Pearce at a reception at the Norlina Fire Department Annex; about sixty family members, dignitaries, and friends attended. Mayor Pearce listed Stephanie's athletic accomplishments, which include earning gold medals as a member of the U.S. Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team in the 2004 Paralympics Games in Athens, Greece, and in the 2008 Paralympics Games in Beijing, China. She also holds a gold medal for the 2007 Para-Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Signs were erected coming into Norlina at city limits saying, "Home of Stephanie Wheeler, Gold Medalist, 2008 Beijing Olympics." Stephanie attended the University of Illinois; she is a four year All-American in basketball and a two year All-American in track and field. In 2003, she was voted the tournament Most Valuable Player when her basketball team won the Women's National Championship. After receiving a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois, she earned a Master's Degree in Adapted Sports Education at the University of Alabama, where she is now working toward a doctorate. Stephanie is an assistant coach at the University of Alabama. She is an invited instructor at numerous basketball camps throughout the country and in other parts of the world. Mayor Pearce summed up the day by saying, "Stephanie, you are a role model for us all, with your courage, your tenacity, and your indomitable spirit."

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