Special Olympians from Volusia County win medals in paddleboarding

Athletes were the only 2 from Volusia on Team Florida

For many, paddleboarding is a fun and relaxing activity. But for Tiffany Dorber from Edgewater, it’s competitive and a way to test herself.

PORT ORANGE, Fla. – For many, paddleboarding is a fun and relaxing activity. But for Tiffany Dorber from Edgewater, it’s competitive and a way to test herself.

“I do the best I can at paddling fast,” Dorber said. “Sometimes, I just have my speed to paddle.”

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In last month’s Special Olympics USA Games, Dorber and her teammate Ember Dubea from Port Orange were the only two athletes from Volusia County on Team Florida’s paddleboard team. Over 500 athletes represented Florida in the Games.

Dorber won a silver medal in the Women’s Level 3-1600 meter race, while Dubea won gold in the Women’s Level 4-800 meter race.

“I was super happy,” Dubea said. “I felt like I was doing something very special.”

Dorber started paddleboarding about nine years ago, thanks to her mom. She also competes in cycling, golf and tennis.

“I love the water, and she loves the water,” said Debbie Dorber, Tiffany’s mom. “Coach Jeff was her cycling coach and said, ‘We’re starting up a paddleboard team. Would Tiffany be interested?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely.’”

Coach Jeff Beebe loves to see his athletes, like Dorber and Dubea, succeed and win medals at the Games.

“It is a tremendous sense of pride to see them get excited about the little things,” Beebe said.

As for Dorber, she encourages others to try out her favorite sport of paddleboarding.

“It’s a really fun sport,” she said. “You can try it and see all the cool wildlife and meet new friends and just have fun.”


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