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Apr 6, 2014 12:30 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Abuse victim takes gold in Special Olympics

TUCSON - An abuse victim who is recovering from numerous health challenges took home 2 medals in the Special Olympics Saturday.

Levi River, 38, was held captive and abused for years in the 1990s in a state other than Arizona. She did not want to say exactly where.

She competed in javelin and shot-put events in the Special Olympics, taking home a silver and a gold medal.

"It's awesome," she said. "I've come a long way my first year with no cane, wheelchair or walker. And it's great."

It was her first Special Olympics, but she said she practiced almost every day.

Her sister, Marie Wilson is her caretaker.

"I'm her biggest fan," Wilson said. "And I was the loudest one. And I probably won't be able to talk tomorrow from losing my voice. It was great."

River gives credit to the Special Olympics and Therapeutic Riders of Tucson for her dramatic process in just the past 6 months.

"She's been able to meet people that she can relate better to and that she's able to compete with," Wilson said, "and not feel bad about herself."

"Don't give up," River said. "Even if it takes 14 years, you'll get there."

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