RAVENA, N.Y. (NEWS10) —  Rebecca Shook, a swimmer from Ravena, put in countless hours of work creating one-of-a-kind bracelets and selling them to afford her trip to the 2022 Special Olympics in Orlando this year. Her sales paid off, and Shook bought her first plane ticket to Florida and returned a gold medal to Ravena.

Swimming into victory at the Special Olympics last week, Shook flew through the 100-meter backstroke. “Waves were splashing into my face, and it makes me feel so alive,” she said. “I was one with the water.”

Her final time came in over 10 seconds before all of the other competitors. “I was screaming so loud from getting a gold medal I thought the referee’s ears were gonna bleed,” Shook said. “It doesn’t matter if I win or lose. I will always be brave in the attempt.”

The “attempt” meant a lot of hard work for Rebecca. She spent toiled over custom bracelets, selling them to offset the costs of her trip. Her goal was $2,000, but that changed after her story aired on NEWS10.

“It went absolutely amazing!” Shook said. “They were selling like hotcakes.”

Hundreds of orders poured in through snail mail and emails. Her mom, Phyllis, admitted that it was almost overwhelming, but they got each and every order out to their new customers. In total, Shook raised around $4,000. She gave away the extra money to a beloved teammate who was struggling to make the trip.

“Let’s just say I had confidence in myself, and my team does too,” Shook said.

The bracelet money also took her to new heights on her first airplane ride. When News10’s Stephanie Rivas asked if she was nervous, she said, “No way!”

Rebecca hasn’t decided whether or not to keep selling her bracelets, but if she does, she’ll keep the price the same—$2. Her next goal is to help create a Disney movie about the Special Olympics and inspire kids to go after their dreams.