ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — First responders and Special Olympics athletes gathered for a breakfast with champions Thursday.
“I’ve been involved with Special Olympics since 1986,” says Tim Martin, CEO of Special Olympics of Texas. “I was the CEO in Arizona before coming to Texas.”
The breakfast is a fundraising event and creates opportunities for the athletes.
“The UIL and the Special Olympics have a special partnership where students with intellectual disabilities and without will be participating with their school teams and competing in basketball, soccer, and track and field; and outside of that, in the education area in robotics,” Martin says.
Martin says this is helping to change the school campus atmosphere.
“In 2018 I was nominated male athlete of the year. I was not expecting that,” says Marvin Butler, who has been a Special Olympics athlete for 30 years. “I started the Special Olympics with the ‘Go Getters’ at the age of 8.”
He says the Olympics has not only helped him with his job at Taco Bell, but it’s also helped in other aspects of his life.
“The athlete’s oath is something I live by. If I can win, great. If I can’t, at least I know I was out there and I gave it everything I can,” Butler says.
Martin says they are always looking for volunteers and it’s a fulfilling job.
“They’ve stood on the sidelines and in the shadows their whole life. Now we have a chance to make sure they don’t feel that way, but they will never ever make you feel that way. That’s the magic. If you have a bad day, come try a dose of Special Olympics,” Martin says.
The first UIL state championship for track and field will be in San Antonio in 2021.
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