“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” That is the Olympic motto by which Austin, a 24 year old special Olympian, competes and coaches. Austin has been participating in the Special Olympics for 7 years; competing in basketball, bowling, baseball, and swimming events. Austin’s love of sports and competition have gone beyond her own enjoyment of the game. Austin will be competing and in the 2018 Special Olympics to be held in Seattle.
This past weekend, the Regional Special Olympics were held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). To kick off this year’s events, men and women from law enforcement agencies around Washington State, carried the Flame of Hope from to JBLM. Austin competed in swimming at this years’ games, along with her unified partner, her mother, Tania. This is one of Austin’s favorite aspects of the games, having a partner to share her love for the sport she is involved in.
Being a unified partner, a volunteer paired up to compete with the Olympian, is a fantastic opportunity for someone to participate with the athletes. Tania feels there is a need for more unified partnering in Special Olympics, as it is very empowering to the athletes. In fact, her younger sister has been a Unified Partner with Austin for the bowling competitions in years past.
Austin enjoys the team spirit and camaraderie of her team, she has made many good friends, and hopes to one day assist in coaching.
As a mom of a special needs daughter, Tania is thankful for these experiences and for the volunteers who work tirelessly to make the athletes dreams, of being an Olympian, come true.
For the past several years, Harrison’s Footwear and Kitsap Podiatry have worked together to help fit the Olympians with a new pair of shoes, at the games. An opportunity we are truly grateful to be a part of. And deeply thank Brooks Shoes for donating the shoes.