Bio: Shilts to be Immortalized (Bobblehead Doll – 2018)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Shilts, Gomez, Mays, Roker, Martin, Teter

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 12/26/2018

Shilts to be Immortalized (Bobblehead Doll – 2018)

Above is an image generated by the national Bobblehead Hall of Fame of its upcoming Daina Shilts bobblehead doll that will be released in January. (Submitted photo)

By Ryan Spoehr

Neillsville resident Daina Shilts has “Special Olympian,” “X-Games athlete” and “ESPN TV personality” on her resume. The resume has led to her having her own bobblehead doll.

The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee has prepared a line of Bobbleheads of Shilts to be released in January.

The organization has immortalized other individuals from the sport and entertainment world by creating a bobblehead for them, including former Milwaukee Brewer Carlos Gomez, New York/San Francisco Giants hall-of-famer Willie Mays, Al Roker and the cast of “The Big Bang Theory.” There is even a bobblehead available of Miami Marlins mascot Bill Marlin as Jedi from “Star Wars.”

“They wanted to highlight an athlete in Special Olympics who’s had a lot of accomplishments,” Shilts said.

She has been to the X-Games four times and the Special Olympics, she was the face of the first holiday campaign for Finish Line, she received an honorary ESPY award and while competing in Austria, she topped all competitors in skiing and snowboarding with the fastest times.

“I think that’s why they made it. I didn’t let my disability keep me from accomplished my dreams,” Shilts said.

Shilts has cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome, a rare genetic condition that affects the heart, face and skin.

Three months ago, Shilts was first contacted about the bobblehead.

“It was a little crazy for a while. I was super excited,” Shilts said. “I’ve won medals; I’ve won multiple awards. I have awards in my name and Neillsville named a day after me. But, now to top it all off I will have my very own bobblehead for the rest of my life.”

Shilts will received five bobbleheads and the prototype.

“I’ve heard a lot of people say they have bought some and they are going to put it in their store or their house or whatever,” Shilts said.

It’s all for a special cause too. For every bobblehead of her that’s sold, $5 will be donated to the Special Olympics of Wisconsin.

Just saying that $5 will be donated to Special Olympics for every Daina Shilts bobblehead sold is a lot to take in, she said.

“I get butterflies in my tummy every time I say it,” Shilts said. “It’s pretty cool to say you’re going to have your own bobblehead and it’s going to be in the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame.”

During the production, Shilts and her dad spent time in the hall of fame’s office critiquing the prototype of the doll to make sure it was accurate.

“We got it down pretty good,” Shilts said.

Shilts first competed on a world or national stage in January 2013 during the Special Olympics World Winter Games. Just shy of six years later, she has accomplishments through the X-Games and Special Olympics. She made her debut as a television analyst for ESPN last summer during the network’s coverage of the Special Olympics summer games.

“I would think that was never going to happen,” Shilts said. “In 2012, I was very shy. I didn’t talk to anybody. In a million years, I never would have guessed I’d make it this far.”

The bobbleheads are available through pre-order now on the hall of fame’s website.

Shilts will return to competition in the Winter X-Games in January in Aspen, CO. The X-Games start Jan. 24. She has been training at Granite Peak Snow Hill in Wausau for the last month in preparation of the competition.

“We’re going to get that gold,” Shilts said.

In December, Shilts was number three on Special Olympics Wisconsin’s “12 Days of Athletes” feature on its website.

There is also a documentary being filmed with Shilts and fellow pro-snowboarder Hanna Teter.




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