Kendall Stier is a gold medalist and a state record-holder in the shot put. Stier also has cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that impairs motor function.
That doesn’t stop the San Clemente resident and Saddleback Valley Christian (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) student. Far, far from it, as the Capistrano Dispatch reports. An All-American and National Honor Society member with a 4.0 GPA, Stier also threw six inches over her state-record mark in the girls wheelchair shot put with an 11-foot, 9-inch throw on March 9.
She has not let her disorder get in the way of achieving that which she has set out to achieve.
“Everyone has their own obstacles and their own challenges,” Stier told the Dispatch. “If you were to believe what everyone is saying, ‘Oh you can’t do this because x, y, z,’ there’s always going to be that ‘What if?’ Then there’s your own opinion and you have to form your own ideas of ‘this is who I am’ and I’m not going to let anyone tell me who I am because I know what I want to do and I have my own goals.
“That’s basically what I’ve been doing for the last two years.”
As the Dispatch reports, Stier joined the Saddleback Valley Christian track and field team as a freshman in 2016, which was the same year the CIF state body allowed para athletes to compete with their able-bodied counterparts.
Stier, along with her mother and track coach Shannon Stier, is now helping promote sports to more para athletes around California. Kendall Stier is a SAMbassador – SAM standing for “Student Athlete in Motion” – for the LA84 Foundation. The name LA84 stems from the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and the group aims to promote youth sports and provide equal access for all sports, per the Dispatch.
“It was definitely an honor,” Stier told the Dispatch of being named a SAMbassador in 2017. “Now I get to be a part of process of not just students with disabilities, I get to be part of a process where my opinion on what grants should go to which foundations and help other students, kids, adults be able to play the sports they love.”
Stier added that a lot of kids “don’t know that they can now compete in sports. We’ve been trying to make advertisements and post on social media and try to get awareness out. I definitely give thanks to LA84 as they’ve been getting the message out as well.”
Stier is an impressive kid with a bright future, and she is sharing her success with others who encounter daily challenges. Kudos to her.