Cheryl Angelelli

            Paralympic medal winner, World Record holder, and Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame inductee, are just a few of Cheryl Angelelli’s accomplishments after a tragic accident in a swimming pool in 1983 left her a quadriplegic. At the time, some may have thought a promising athletic career was cut short. For Cheryl, it was just beginning.

Cheryl returned to the pool and made the 2000 Paralympic Swim Team. Since then she has returned twice, earning a pair of bronze medals at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, and a pair of silver medals at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing. She is one of Michigan’s most decorated Paralympians and currently holds 15 American Records and 3 World Records.

Cheryl is the director of marketing and public relations for DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan where she serves as a source of inspiration and motivation to newly disabled patients.

In 1991, she was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Michigan and went on to win the title of First Runner-Up Ms. Wheelchair America. During her reign, she traveled as a motivational speaker, dispelling the myths and stereotypes about persons with disabilities.


Swimming Honors

  • 15 American Records, 3 World Records
  • Ranked #1 in the world from 2006-2008 in 100 meter and 200 meter freestyle
  • Member of 2000, 2004, 2008 Paralympic Swim Team
  • Member of U.S. National Disabled Swim Team 1998-2011
  • 4-Time Paralympic Medalist (2 Silver, 2 Bronze)
  • 7-Time Gold Medalist at IPC World Championships


Awards and Honors

  • Michigan Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame inductee 2000
  • Michigan Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame Disabled Female Athlete of the Year 2000
  • 2000 Female Amateur Athlete of the Year for the State of Michigan, presented by Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports


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2.1.2017 Congratulations to John McSween of the Michigan Rolling Pistons, John just signed his letter of intent to attend the University of Illinois and continue his education and further his wheelchair basketball career. John has been part of The Michigan Rolling Pistons wheelchair basketball team for many years, Michigan Rolling Pistons is a co-ed, youth wheelchair basketball team providing opportunities for athletes ages 6-18 with physical disabilities to participate competitively in basketball. The athletes on this team are unable to participate in most local programs or school teams. Adaptive sports programs allow these athletes to experience the same benefits as their able-bodied peers. Our primary purpose is to provide more opportunity for boys and girls with physical disabilities to participate competitively in a sport. Our team motto is “No Limits.” The benefits of youth sports are well known. Through athletics, children gain increased selfconfidence and self-esteem, increased physical fitness and overall wellness. They also learn responsibility, and develop better communication and interpersonal relationships. Our athletes are unable to participate in most local programs or any of their school sports teams. Adaptive sports programs allow for these athletes to experience the same benefits as their able-bodied peers while also getting to meet and learn from others with the same abilities. It can be a difficult road keeping the teams up and running. With general overall health care costs, the additional costs of team sports and special equipment required to play can at times be a financial burden on families. That’s where Athletes Unlimited comes in to help support these teams and keep the programs running and growing throughout Southeast Michigan. Athletes Unlimited is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 by Jeff S. Pierce, DO, dedicated to providing social, recreational and athletic outlets to people with disabilities. Their guiding philosophy that life is not intended to be a spectator sport. Everyone, regardless of ability, can benefit from participating in sports. It continues to be Athletes Unlimited primary goal to provide these opportunities to as many physically challenged individuals as possible. We firmly believe that everyone should know that individuals with disabilities, regardless of their physical limitations, possess the same basic needs and desires as those without disabilities. Together we can strive to eliminate societal barriers that limit an individual’s potential to achieve. Join us in spreading the mission of helping disabled athletes, because life is not meant to be a spectator sport!