January 25, 2022 | Updated: January 25, 2022

Cheerleading coach and Special Olympic Texas employee Shauna Radke relives the emotional experience of watching three cheerleading teams compete under bright lights at the NCA High School Nationals competition. 

On the weekend of January 22-23rd, Shauna Radke witnessed two traditional Special Olympic cheerleading teams from Notre Dame School and one Unified team from Katy, Texas give a powerful and unforgettable performance. “This is what it's all about'' says Shauna as she describes the competition and the heartwarming experience she had watching the athletes perform. Shauna felt inspired as this occasion truly captured what Special Olympics aims to achieve. The athletes were able to experience cheerleading in a competitive environment supported by an arena full of fans.

Shauna explains that the experience was both “beautiful and fun” as she could see every athlete was beaming throughout the entire weekend. She illustrates that each team brought every fan to their feet, clapping to the rhythm of their music. Each team then attended the awards ceremony and was captured holding hands as they waited for the results. The spirit of the athletes moved every individual in the arena and still leaves Shauna emotional today.

Both Notre Dame School teams and the Katy Stars gave impressive performances and were able to walk out of the arena champions as they all took home the state gold medal!