2015 IMPACT25 Athlete: Olivia Quigley


"My message to other ladies with breast cancer is to get off the couch. It doesn't help anything to sit there feeling sorry for yourself. You will get through it." -- Olivia Quigley

For most elite athletes, sickness can derail a career. For 24-year-old autistic sprinter Olivia Quigley, her breast cancer was merely a speed bump. Diagnosed in February, she told her medical team that the illness wouldn't keep her from competing in the Special Olympics World Games in July.

So Quigley, a self-described fighter, continued to train with taekwondo -- she's a high brown belt -- and a personal trainer while undergoing months of chemotherapy.

Still, it did not slow her down: Although chemo had drained her body of its usual quickness and pep, Quigley arrived in Los Angeles with a strong positive mentality that carried her to two gold medals in the 100 meters and 4x100-meter relay, and a silver medal in the 200 meters.

More On Olivia Quigley

• Fearless Quigley wins gold at World Games Story »

• Quigley discusses her victory Video »

• 'I'm not missing this opportunity' Story »

The IMPACT25 is espnW's annual list of the 25 athletes and influencers who have made the greatest impact for women in sports. Explore the 2015 list at espnW.com/IMPACT25.