Colleen Costello of Millstadt, Illinois, has participated in Special Olympics for the past 26 years, training and competing in bocce, bowling, equestrian, gymnastics, snowshoeing and swimming. She will represent Special Olympics USA in rhythmic gymnastics. In 2006 and 2022, Colleen competed in artistic gymnastics at the Special Olympics USA Games. An advocate for her fellow athletes, Colleen is a certified Global Messenger and has served on the board of directors for Special Olympics Illinois, the first Special Olympics athlete to do so. She has also served on the local board for the Parent Teacher Organization for Exceptional Children. Special Olympics keeps Colleen busy, surrounds her with friends and allows her the opportunity to participate in the sports that she loves. Colleen helped to start the gymnastics and equestrian programs in her area for Special Olympics. She was one of the first Special Olympics Illinois athletes to participate in snowshoeing.
She is employed in the cafeteria at St. James Catholic School, where she enjoys seeing the students every day, including her nephews. As a volunteer, Colleen helps at the Community Center and attends many Special Olympics events. She is active member of her church, where she is an usher and part of the Knights of the Altar. She most admires coach Jenny Hitt, who taught Colleen to be a successful competitor in gymnastics. She has waited so long so attend a Special Olympics World Games and will finally have the opportunity to achieve that goal.