52-year-old Sandi Froman has been a Special Olympics Illinois athlete for 29 years.
She's competed in bowling, bocce ball, basketball and several other sports. She is even one of the first female athletes to finish the mile.
More recently, Froman has taken a break from competing and focused her attention on volunteering.
One of her favorite things to do is make quilts.
When she finishes one, she raffles it as a fundraiser for Special Olympics Illinois.
"It helps them pay for programs," Froman said Friday.
She has a table set up inside Horton Field House at Illinois State University for this weekend's summer games.
It's an event Froman even helped organize.
"I stuffed the envelopes. Got them sent out in the mail. I did that for two weeks at my own house," she said.
And now her dedication to the organization is one reason it's recognizing her as the 2012 Athlete of the Year.
"I was shocked when they said I was getting it. Shocked," she said.
Michelle Hensen with Special Olympics Illinois nominated Froman because the two have become close over the years.
"Sandi has the longevity of being an athlete for a long time. She was a high quality athlete, high caliber. I can't think of a better athlete to get this award," Hensen said.
And although she's not competing this weekend, Froman is looking forward to getting back in the game to show what she says Special Olympics Illinois is all about.
She said, "I just like competing and it doesn't matter if win or lose, everyone's for you no matter what."
Froman gets her award during the opening ceremonies Friday night.
Her husband of 27 years won the same award in 2005.