Zoe Rollins

Year: 2022
Award: Inspiration
Location/Affiliation: Thompson Valley High School

  • Returned to serve at a match while still partially paralyzed
  • 4A State Volleyball Champion

On October 19, 2022, social media sharing from a volleyball court in a high school gym caught our attention and touched our hearts in all the good ways. Zoe Rollins, a senior middle hitter, rolled out to the service line in her Thompson Valley uniform. With some assistance to maintain her balance, she sent a serve over the net during a real-thing, regular season varsity match. Then the crowd and the internet went wild.  

18 months earlier, Zoe and her sister, Emily, were seriously injured in a car accident after practice on a snowy night in Loveland. Zoe suffered a spinal cord injury affiliated with the break of her L1 vertebrae. It required surgery. It restricted her to a wheelchair. It did not defeat her spirit. It did not stop her from regaining feeling down to her knees. It did not keep her from becoming homecoming queen. It did not keep her away from a second consecutive Class 4A volleyball championship celebration with her teammates this past November.

That video of her return to the court may have gone viral, but her actions were vital. Full of energy. And liveliness. And competitiveness. And confidence. Like so many Sportswomen who inspire us. Tonight, we honor Zoe Rollins from Thompson Valley.

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