An Interview With Declan McCann
Declan McCann is a sophomore biology pre-med major at Walla Walla University. For years, McCann has enjoyed competing in the World Dwarf Games, a unique sporting league for people with achondroplasia. In an interview with The Collegian, McCann shared his experience in the games and what winning a gold medal is like. The following is a transcript of that interview. Questions and answers have been edited for clarity.
Q: Could you introduce yourself?
McCann: My name is Declan McCann and I am a sophomore biology pre-med, major here at Walla Walla University.
Q: Declan, could you tell me a bit about your experience with sports competitions?
McCann: So it’s called the World Dwarf Games. It’s an international event for people with dwarfism to compete on an even playing field. An international event happens every four years prior to the Olympic games and then a national one is held every four years between the international games. They have all sorts of events like volleyball, soccer, badminton, racing, that kinda stuff. It’s really just a community event where we get together and have fun.
Q: How did you get into it?
McCann: Because I have achondroplasia, I got the newsletter basically from birth. I didn’t get into it until I was twelve, that’s when I competed in my first national event. Then I did it again in 2013 and I competed in my first world games in 2016.
Q: What did you compete in?
McCann: I compete in pretty much anything that sounds fun. There are no real tryouts, you just sign up for whatever you want to and they’ll put you on a team. I’ve done basketball, soccer, track and field, and the most recent games had marksmanship which I competed in.
Q: Have you ever won any of the events? What’s the experience like?
McCann: My most recent medals were bronze in the 200 meters, silver in the 1600 meter, and gold in marksmanship. Obviously, it felt nice to win, but it wasn’t in the sense of ‘yay, I beat all my competitors’ It was more in the sense that I was just glad to compete with so many cool people.
There have been so many other cool experiences I’ve had and people I’ve met through the games. One of the people I’ve met was a Paralympian for marksmanship. Another person was Martin Klebba, the actor from The Pirates of The Caribbean with achondroplasia. I got to play against him in basketball and have a conversation with him as well.
Q: Do you plan to compete in the future?
McCann: Yeah, I was actually planning on competing in powerlifting this summer but I can’t because I’m going to Rosario. The next world games will be in Canada next year so hopefully, I can compete in those. 
- Interview with Declan McCann, 4/28/22.
- McCann won gold in marksmanship at the World Dwarf Games in 2017. Courtesy of Declann McCann.
My name is Matthew Peinado. I’m from Portland Oregon and graduated from Portland Adventist Academy. I am an advocate for social and economic justice for all people and I hope that comes through in my writing. I am currently majoring in strategic communications and psychology with the hopes of going to law school after graduation. If any of you feel that you have a story The Collegian needs to share, don’t hesitate to reach me at email@example.com or my personal number, (360) 869-3431.