Editor's note: Columbus State University tennis player Laura Chapman, a 2010 Hardaway High School graduate, is on Team USA in the 2013 Deaflympics in Sofia, Bulgaria. She is deaf in her right ear and has 50 percent hearing in her left ear, which is increased to 85 percent with a hearing aid. This is the fourth of her periodic reports from her trip.
SOFIA, Bulgaria --
Well, what can I say. I won a Gold Medal today. Haha. No, it was a great day for the USA Team. I can not even begin to tell you how happy I am that Emily and I won this match. For starters, I was getting sick of "warm ups," I just wanted to play
and WIN! We played a great match. We relaxed a little in the first set when we were up 4-1, but quickly regained our focus. They were a good team, but I knew all along that we were better. Its just like I told any of our journalist that interviewed us after our matches "I have NO DOUBT in my mind that Emily and I are the best doubles team here, We are a great team and we fight for each other."
Honestly, we both have said that it hasn't really hit us that we just won GOLD for our country. I think what has really hit us more is the fact that we believed we could win. When Emily and I first met, we went to get lunch and I remember us saying "Hey, wouldn't that be weird if we won a medal?" Now, its crazy enough to say, "yes, I have won a Gold Medal."
I think the biggest accomplishment for both of us in winning this tournament was that we both burned a bridge together. We both struggle with believing in ourselves and in God, that He can do great things. We both sometimes doubt that we can't win, that we aren't that good, and that God will walk us through something bigger than ourselves, After this victory, we both will walk away from this experience confident and brave. For all of you with doubt or fear, don't believe it. We all can do great things, we all can be something big, and we all can all encourage each other. Trust in the Lord, and He will DO. GREAT. THINGS.