Ep. 95 Finding Your Confidence To Be Authentically You, with Paralympian Bethany Zummo

Ep. 95 Finding Your Confidence To Be Authentically You, with Paralympian Bethany Zummo

In this episode of the Started With A Dream Podcast presented by 9INE POINT, Jacolby Gilliam has a conversation with volleyball Paralympian and owner of Zummo Collective, Bethany Zummo. Bethany shares her story on how she became a volleyball athlete, some of the significant challenges she faced along the way. Through this journey, Bethany has grown and developed a new level of self-confidence to be the best she can be at what she loves.

Bethany Zummo believes that everyone has their own ‘normal,’ and you have to embrace your own normal instead of being afraid of not being someone else’s normal. Bethany wants other adaptive athletes to know that they are more than able to not focus on the label this is out there as disabled. Because of COVID, her Paralympic title defense has been put on hold for a while in 20202. However, Bethany Zummo has spent her time trying to curb the spread of the COVID. By using her sewing skills with the help of her family, The Zummo Collective was started to create filtered masks as a way of helping others and giving back to the community.

Key Points:

Intro (0:11)

The biggest goal Bethany’s wanted to achieve as a Paralympian (0:52)

What is normal and why Bethany believes normal can only be self-defined (1:51)

Bethany’s first sports journey and some of the major challenges she faced (2:39)

How Bethany hurdled through the challenges she faced to develop and reinforce self-confidence (4:54)

Why it’s important to embrace diversity (6:48)

When Bethany realized she was good at the sitting game (10:17)

Self-belief; Why Bethany beliefs that she deserves the best and how she works hard to arrive as the best (11:50)

Why Bethany decided to try the sitting volleyball (15:27)

Some of the fears and struggles Paralympian’s face about wanting to not be labeled and why it’s okay to not feel okay at first (17:10)

Bethany’s dreams of the Olympics and Paralympics pre-COVID and how she was able to mentally carry on regardless of the current situation (21:40)

How Bethany is trying to make the most of the situation to help as many people as she can (26:15)

How Bethany became the mask maker to render as much aid as she could to others (27:00)

Other ways Bethany and her sisters have been giving back to their community (32:34)


“I would love to leave the sport knowing that it can be really competitive and really challenging to play. And that’s the goal, I think for anyone, leaving the sport better than you found it.”


“If I met someone who was like a little Bethany, like I would want to do my best to empower them and tell them, like, I know that you, you think you think this way now, and it’s okay that you feel this way and it’s not your fault that you feel this way.”

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