Katie Holloway, a sitting volleyball medalist, and Steve Serio, a wheelchair basketball medalist, who both competed in the 2012 Paralympics in London this past summer, will visit the University of Hartford campus on Thursday, Nov. 15, to share their inspirational stories. The two will speak at a lunchtime event that is free and open to the public.
Holloway has been using a prosthetic leg since she was two years old. Serio had surgery as a baby to remove a spinal tumor, which resulted in the compression of his spinal cord and left him partially paralyzed. In addition to their public talk, both Paralympic athletes will take part in a private, meet and greet session with students in the University’s prosthetics and orthotics program beforehand.
This event is sponsored by The Hartford, which is a founding partner of U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee. The key focus of U.S. Paralympics is to find and develop world-class athletes with physical and visual disabilities.
The Center for Health, Care, and Well-being in the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions is a co-sponsor of the event.
Holloway of Van Nuys, Calif., is a relative newcomer to sitting volleyball, but she has already shown to be a strong asset for the U.S. Paralympic Women's Sitting Volleyball National Team with her height and athleticism. Holloway made her Paralympic Games debut in Beijing in 2008 and was a huge contributor to Team USA’s silver medal.
Holloway put together a very solid collegiate career on the basketball court with the Cal State Northridge Matadors. She was the two-time defending Big West Conference Sixth Woman of the Year, winning her second award after the 2006-07 season. She graduated from Cal State Northridge in 2008 with a degree in sociology.
Serio of Westbury, N.U., began his wheelchair basketball career as a sophomore in high school with the Long Island Lightning, the only competitive junior wheelchair basketball team in New York State. He led them to the team's first National Championship in 2005. He played point guard for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was named a 2nd Team All-American in both the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons at Illinois. At the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at Oklahoma State University on March 15, 2008, Serio led the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to a NIWBA Championship over the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater He took home the Championship Game Player of the Game, NWBA Tournament MVP, and the NWBA 31st NIWBT Player of the Year in the process.
Serio made his Paralympic debut with the U.S. National Team in 2008 in Beijing, China. The team finished in fourth place, just missing a medal. Since then, the U.S. National Team took the gold medal at the 2009 America's Cup in Richmond, Canada and finished third at the 2010 Wheelchair Basketball World Championship in Birmingham, England. At the 2012 Paralympic Games of London, Steve led the Men’s U.S. National Wheelchair Basketball Team to a bronze medal, the team’s first Paralympic medal since 2000, by beating Great Britain on its home court. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2010, where he studied Personal Training.