ODEM, Texas — A Coastal Bend athlete will be bringing home the gold after an inspirational victory over the weekend at the Paralympics in Tokyo.
Jillian Williams and the United States women's sitting volleyball team won the victory Saturday night by beating China in the finals. Williams added nine points to help lead the triumph.
Jillian's family hosted a watch party at their home in Odem with friends and family this weekend to watch the triumph.
Team USA came out strong to dominate China with victories in the first and second sets. China stormed back to claim the third set, but the Americans made adjustments won the match. It made Jillian and her teammates gold medalists.
"This is a gold medal," Williams said in a Skype interview. "Like what does this actually mean you know? Sit in this moment what does a gold medal mean. Our sports psychologist was like, you can say for the rest of your life in every job interview you have, every resume you write that you are a gold medalist."
Her family and friends say they are beyond proud of how far the new Paralympian gold medalist has come in her journey.
"And to see her going from cancer treatments to this in just a short amount of time, is actually really, I don't have a lot to say about it," her big brother Trent Williams said. "I'm just really proud of her."
Her nurse Jillian Cotter has seen how far Jillian has come in her comeback.
"I love watching the Olympics," Cotter said. "But to watch one of your own that you worked so hard to help her ... you know save a life, it's just amazing."
Jillian credited the group back home in Odem with being her foundation in her journey to gold.
"They're the reason why I am here today," she said. "And it's because of them I still have hope that I can play volleyball still."
Congratulations to Team USA and Jillian Williams, who we featured in an earlier story here.