July 03, 2014 | Updated: January 29, 2019

By Anthony Campise

How Special Olympics Texas Has Changed My Life

My name is Anthony Campise I started doing Special Olympics when I was 11 yrs old. I first started after my parents learned that I was high functioning autistic and bi-polar. I first started out playing basketball then followed by softball. I am now with Flower Mound Special Olympics where I participate in basketball, flag football, swimming, soccer. Since I joined there organization I have learned to put others before myself as before I was an extremely selfish person in everyway possible. Special Olympics has helped me learn to  truly care for people with intellectual disabilities as if they were my brothers and sisters. I have four little sisters, a little brother and a big brother. I've learned thru them that it might not be easy to deal with me but they love me even though I have my disabilities.

That has helped me believe in myself to help me believe that I can do things other than special Olympics like get a job, and a girlfriend if I can ever find one haha. But seriously it's helped me to stand up to other people being bullied because of their disabilities which I was in middle and high school, I've even confronted people to stop bullying someone in public before a couple times. And with that confidence in myself I've held my first job for 6 years and now I'm a supervisor a Kroger in Flower Mound and get my drivers listened and get a my first car so I can drive myself around.

Special Olympics has made a huge impact on my life every time I'm at an event for Special Olympics if I see someone upset or down on them selves in sit down with them and make them feel good I try to make them laugh and give them a hug if they need one. And recently I've really gotten into social media like Instagram and Twitter which I didn't usually use beside my Facebook to help spread the word of how great an organization that Special Olympics is. I have friends now asking if they can volunteer at some of our events. Flower Mound really embodies what Special Olympics is about. The community really cares out the athletes and the middle and high school in the area and countless volunteers at every practice, game, and tournaments I'm amazed at how happy there are to donate their time to help out the kids and adults with disabilities.

I've gotten so proud of our young volunteers like Garrett Tittle, David Lason, Lauren Maness, & Rachel Olsen and that's just a couple of our great volunteers, our delegation truly embodies a family from any other delegation I've been apart of. But it all starts with the support of the parents and siblings of the athletes our delegation would be nothing without the countless hrs of coaching, volunteering and driving that they all do to make sure we get to be where we need to be all year long. Most of all I'd like to thank my parents Tony & Laura and my two little sisters Chloe & Simone whom I love very much along with my big brother Chandler, my other two little sisters Marisa & Christabelle and my little brother Bryce.

I wouldn't be who I am today without my awesome support of all of my immediate and extended family and this unbelievable organization that is Special Olympics Texas. I would also like to thank FC Dallas for allowing us to be apart of their amazing organization as well. They have gone above and beyond for the allowing us to represent them this last year. Last year we flew to Colorado and played their unified team and tied 2-2, then last fall we played their academy team and won 8-2. They have been amazing in every way, my organization and I give them are extremely grateful.

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