April 16, 2012
By Ryan O'Keefe
|Blaine Hardin poses with Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver at Hill Day 2012.|
Blaine Hardin has been competing in Special Olympics since he was 8 years old, with track and field and bowling. It's been a life filled with competitions, friendships and traveling. His latest adventure was traveling to Washington D.C. in February for Hill Day.
Hill Day is trip that Special Olympics Texas invites athletes and volunteers to go to Washington D.C. and advocate for funds and programs that help Special Olympics Texas. It's a very special trip that Blaine he had the opportunity to speak to legislators and staff asking for support for Special Olympics. On his trip he even got to meet Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver.
Blaine's involvement with Special Olympics Texas was heightened when he was about 14 and McKinney ISD received a grant to add another sport - they added golf. Blaine had always enjoyed putting around in the yard with a golf club and golf ball, but had never actually played golf. Blaine's Adaptive P.E. teacher, Dennis Wyatt, reached out the Hardin's about Blaine's participation in the sport. Blaine immediately fell in love with the game. Through his love of the golf and competition Blaine has grown into more than just an athlete but a well-rounded young man.
"The way he carries himself is just so awesome. Blaine's had a lot opportunities to go to competitions and make a lot of new friends, but it's his maturity that has grown the most since I've known him," said Dennis Wyatt.
Blaine plays level three golf unified partner with Dean Morris. They have gone to the NIT in Florida twice and one time went to the National Games in Nebraska. Throughout all the accomplishments and medals, Blaine's biggest moment was when he sunk a 60-foot putt for his team's first birder at the NIT in Florida.
If it weren't for Special Olympics Blaine wouldn't have so many of the friends he has now. He cherishes his role as a member of the Area 10 ALP's and loves speaking to groups about his love for golf and Special Olympics Texas.
Blaine says Special Olympics Texas has opened up many avenues that would not be opened otherwise. It has given him the opportunity to participate in sports he might not have ever thought of participating in.
Blaine says it gives him the opportunity to get out of the house, associate with friends and be active. "He always likes playing with friends and having fun. He likes the exercise, competition, and being active," said Jane Morris, Blaine's mother.
"Most of all he says it gives him the opportunity to show others how Special Olympics athletes can make a difference in the world."