Special Olympics Changing Lives in Texoma

Special Olympics Athletes in Texoma are lacing up their shoelaces and trying to squeeze in their last minute workouts. They're getting ready for a big Bocce event Saturday, October 9th.

Athletes from all over North Texas will be coming to Wichita Falls to compete in the Bocce event, but for these athletes it's not all about getting the gold.

"Our motto for Special Olympics is let me win, but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt," said Mike Strickland, Area 9 Director, Special Olympics Texas.

Special Olympics Texas is an organization that provides year round sports training and athletic competitions in a variety of Olympic style sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. However, despite their disabilities they're always ready to bring their a- game.

"I think that's one of the most important things is that these athletes are ready to show whoever's there watching their parents, volunteers, fellow athletes look what I can do," said Strickland.

Special Olympics allows athletes to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and helps them forms bonds with fellow athletes.

"If an athlete falls down they're there to pick them up they will go above and beyond to help their fellow athlete out rather than winning the race," said Strickland.

Strickland hopes to make more than just an athlete out of these competitors.

"The goal is to eventually get them to give back to the organization...get them to be coaches of younger teams, get them to become volunteers even serves as key volunteers, that means they become part of our committee to help put on some of the events," said Strickland.

Special Olympics Texas Area 9 currently has 9 different sports that athletes in North Texas can participate in, equestrian will be added in 2011.

The Bocce competition will be held at Barwise Junior High, the opening ceremony will be at 8:30AM. For more information about Special Olympics Texas go to www.sotx.org.

Here is a list of the sports offered by Special Olympics North Texas

  • Aquatics
  • Athletics
  • Basketball
  • Bocce
  • Bowling
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian
  • Figure Skating
  • Floor Hockey
  • Football (Soccer)
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics (Artistic)
  • Kayaking
  • Power lifting
  • Roller Skating
  • Sailing
  • Softball
  • Speed Skating
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball