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The Paralympian Next Door: Erin Popovich - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

The Paralympian Next Door: Erin Popovich

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

Erin Popovich is a highly decorated Paralympic swimmer. In Athens back in 2004 she said she made her biggest accomplishment.

"I went 7 events, 7 gold medals," Popovich said.

The swimmer is originally from Butte, Montana. She has 19 medals in all, 14 of them gold.

Now she lives in Colorado Springs working at the USOC Paralympic Division.

"The best part is I can give back to sports that I love, that gave me so much opportunity," Popvich said.

She said it can be hard for some to leave the competition behind, but working alongside other Olympians keeps things competitive in other ways.

"My expectation was, she would put some of her effort from her athleticism into being a team player, and that was correct," USOC's Julie Dussliere said.

Popovich grew up riding and showing horses, which took a backseat when she started to excel at swimming. Now she's getting back to that. She also loves the fact she can help develop younger athletes and help them succeed.

"I had the greatest feeling in the world, being on top of the podium, but when I see athletes I helped in my career see their rewards on top of the podium, it's a fufilling experience," Popovich said.

She said the sky is the limit with the Paralympics and she can't wait to watch the games in South Korea.

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