ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Members of a team of disabled athletes from Abilene have the honor of competing in the 2022 American Special Olympics. “Team Texas” heads to the sunshine state ready to compete and play unified flag football.
“I’m really excited and can’t wait to be out there and give my 100% in this competition,” said team member Michael Martinez.
Assistant coach Terry Hayhurst told KTAB/KRBC that these men received a “hero shipment” as they left Rose Park in Abilene on Friday morning.
“We had the APD (Abilene Police Department) there, the [Taylor County] Sheriff’s Department, [Abilene] Fire Department, and many relatives, friends and supporters,” Hayhurst said.
Athletes now have the chance to show off their hard-earned skills, but also another chance to prove just how competitive they really are.
“It’s really exciting because we’ve been working towards this goal for two or three months now and so I think everyone there will tell you that they’re extremely excited, and just happy with all their hard work and being able to live this,” Hayhurst said.
These athletes expressed not only their excitement, but also their gratitude for being the only team to represent the Lone Star State.
“It really is a blessing,” said Texas team member Will Gilmore. “These guys are amazing, they’re great, they’re good teammates and I’m just happy to be a part of it all.”
The team will stop in Houston and then fly to Orlando, Florida for the next competition. This event will take place on June 5 up to 12.
Team Texas’ first game begins at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) Monday and can be seen on cable TV or streamed on ABC and ESPN.