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Last year my family and I had a meeting with my service coordinator and he told me about Special Olympics. My life up until that point consisted of working at the Amarillo State Center and going to school part-time. So I decided to try it out so and I have loved every minute of it.

Competing in sports is a wonderful activity for me. It’s a good way to get out of the house. Participating in team sports really makes me feel like a winner. I play for the Texas Panhandle Center Stars in basketball, bowling and track.

My first sport was basketball and during our first scrimmage, I made the game-winning assist to help my teammate score the winning bucket. I noticed that I was getting better each week that I practiced. When we had our area region tournament, I scored a basket in the first game which helped lead us to victory. In our second game however, we played very hard against another team but came up short and took 2nd place.

When track season came around my coach asked me what events I wanted to do, so I decided to try the 100 meter run, softball throw and the relay. In our first meet my team got 2nd in the relay, and I got 3rd in the 100 meter run and 4th in softball throw.  At our area Spring games I was able to win the 100 meter run, finished 2nd in the relay and the 2nd in softball throw. No matter what happened, I always had a smile on my face because I was having the time of my life.

I’m looking forward to doing it all again next year. Every time I look at my medals on my wall I look back to getting them and smile because I know even when I didn't win, I tried my best and that’s all that matters.

Being involved with the Special Olympics has taught me how to make friends, become a good teammate and allowed me to become more open to my disability. It’s something that no one can take away from me.

(Iesha Adams just finished her first full year competing in Special Olympics in the Panhandle Area.)

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