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Klein Champions Shine at Special Olympics Texas State Competition

Klein Champions Shine at Special Olympics Texas State Competition
Jessica Williams

Klein Champions athletes from various Klein ISD campuses recently participated in the Fall Classic, a Special Olympics Texas State Competition. This event showcased the remarkable impact of inclusion and unity in sports.

Over 2,200 athletes from four Texas regions converged at Texas A&M University, engaging in various sports, including swimming, golf, bocce, and softball. What truly stood out was the extraordinary medal count achieved by our athletes - 33 Gold medals, 5 Silver medals, and 6 Bronze medals. Beyond the medals, they broke records, collectively shaving a remarkable combined 608 seconds off their swim times.

Our Klein Champion athletes were also joined by students who served as Junior Coaches. Those students are known as Unified Partners and graciously sacrifice their time to support our Klein Champion athletes, fostering friendships beyond the sports arena.

Our Klein Champions athletes and Unified Partners took to the spotlight in the swimming events, participating in individual contests and Unified Relays. These relays bring together athletes with and without disabilities to compete as one team, exemplifying the core spirit of the Special Olympics.

"Klein Champions competitions are the best testaments to what Unified Sports should be," Klein Champions Program Director Hana Kosarek said. "Our athletes form friendships with the Unified Partners that carry over to their campuses; they make each other better people and, along with that, make us coaches, parents, and friends hopeful that this world of inclusion continues to grow. I'm so proud of them and thankful for all their time, love, and effort."

The competition drew 700 swimmers, transforming the event into an unforgettable experience for all involved. Klein Cain Graduate and Volunteer Morgan Mortensen was overjoyed to serve at the event.

“Being a part of Klein champions is truly such a joy. The athletes are just among the best humans you will ever meet in your life,” Mortensen said. “The friendships I have made there have changed me and have brought such happiness and light!”

Our Unified Partners have made a profound impact, not only on our athletes but also on athletes from various delegations across the state. Their selfless commitment exemplifies the power of community and togetherness, making this year's Fall Classic an incredible success.

"It's beautiful to see all these kids find common ground and work together to teach goals. The world could learn a lot from this group and the love, kindness, patience, and understanding offered here," Klein Champions Parent and Booster Club Board Member Rebecca Talley said. "The unified partners make our kids feel valued and important. Thank you to the coaches and all their long hours and kind hearts, to the UPs for their hard work and constant support, and to the athletes who put their whole hearts into these sports."

Interested basketball, tennis, volleyball, golf, track & field athletes who want to get involved in Unified Sports with our Klein Champions Special Olympics athletes, don't hesitate to contact Ms. Kosarek at kleinchampions@gmail.com.

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