This multi-sport Athena winner puts smiles on people’s faces


Hanna Bolstrom is in mid swing to bat for her softball team.This game was between the South Adapted Softball team and the South Suburban Flyers. This game ended with a tie 0-0. Bolstrom is a senior this year and has won the Athena awards for South high school. “She is the happiest girl I know. [She’s] always smiling, always happy, always supportive of her members, [and] just upbeat,” said Athletic office manager Lynn Heldt. Photo: Asanti Bekele

Asanti Bekele, Staff Writer

Hanna Bolstrom is a bright smiley girl with short hair and glasses who passes by people everyday in the halls. After school she plays four adapted sports throughout the school year. What makes this girl unique is that she won the Athena awards on May 5th for all the sports that she plays.

The Athena award signifies the Greek Goddess, Athena, and is a symbol of wisdom and skill. This award is given every year to a female Senior athlete that has done an outstanding job for the sports they participate in. There is one winner from each school and Hanna Bolstrom has been lucky enough to make the list.

She has received six varsity letters for: Adapted soccer, hockey and softball. She also has been team captain three times, won MVP(Most Valuable player) once, and earned three conference awards for Adaptive soccer and softball. Finally she won the Athena awards for adaptive hockey, soccer, softball and bowling.

Bolstrom is not only good at her sports and a terrific athlete, but she is also good at brightening people’s day. “She is the happiest girl I know. [She’s] always smiling, always happy, always supportive of her members, [and] just upbeat,” said athletic office manager Lynn Heldt.

“I didn’t know I won the award until Betty told me. I was in 7th hour doing my work and then Betty called me, and i’m like ‘am I in trouble?’ So I was in a wheelchair, [saying] ‘I’m in trouble, I’m in trouble.’ Then I went to Betty’s room, and she said ‘we have a big thing to tell you,’ [and] that I won the Athena award, and I was so shocked. I was happy and crying,” said Bolstrom.

Bolstrom has been doing sports since her Freshman year, and has been open to trying new sports every season. But her favorite will always be bowling and softball, “I love bowling and softball. I love bowling because you use your wrist and you can just push it if you want to. It’s fun,” explained Bolstrom.

Her smiley and happy personality follows her on the field too. “She’s very confident, in the game, committed and wants what’s best for the team,” said sophomore Tavin Samara. Samara has played with Bolstrom for soccer, floor hockey and softball.  

“You have to be great you have to work hard. I just want people to say ‘oh I know that girl she won the award.’ I love it! It’s my first time winning this kind of award so it just means so much to me,” explained Bolstrom. she empathized, “That I have been working hard.”

Even though she has won all these awards and is great at her sports Bolstrom still struggles with the stress of school work and commitment to practice and games. She has her ways to manage her time. Her friends and her love for music have been an enormous part of her stress relievers.  

“At the end of the day a big knot just rolled in my tummy, ‘how am I going to do homework if I have practice’ so I try to do it whenever it’s not my turn when we play. I think school is a big part of your life so you should do school and then sports,” said Bolstrom. “I listen to music and text my friends. I love texting. I just get really emotional when people talk about school, [and] I’m like ‘I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear it so I listen to music and it calms me down and text my friends.”

Even if she feels stressed and has a lot going on in her day Blostrom doesn’t let that hold her back from putting a smile on another person. “She’s outgoing, energetic, [and] always happy. For a girl who has disabilities she doesn’t let her it slow her down. She’s very supportive of her friends on and off the court,” explained Heldt.

There are many reasons why Bolstrom won the award and some of them are “good sportsmanship,great commitment and effort,” said Samara. “She’s very nice, she cares about others, [and] she’s full of joy.”

Bolstrom can be considered a role model for her fellow peers. She has endured many challenges and still has her ways of overcoming them. “I would love to be a role model. I have been one for my sister, I just like to be the one [that says] ‘you can do this’,” said Bolstrom.