If you asked Manitowoc native Travis Stuckart 32 years ago when he started Special Olympics if he would coach a National team at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, he would tell you “you’re crazy!”.
Ask him today, and he would tell you the sky is the limit with Special Olympics Wisconsin.
In June, Travis Stuckart represented Team Wisconsin as an athlete-as-coach for Team Wisconsin softball at the Special Olympics USA Games. The softball team was selected in September of 2021. From that moment on, the team faced a lot of uncertainty with practices due to COVID. When it was safe to practice, the team often times found themselves practicing indoors and with wiffle ball bats!
Despite the many hurdles, the team was seeded in Division 1 for the USA Games with the company of the best teams in the country. Each coach had a role on the team and Travis was in charge of the dugout and creating heavy-hitting, strategic line-ups for each game. Reflecting on his experience as an athlete-as-coach, Travis shared, “I felt included and seen as a coach by my team, fellow coaches and staff. It meant the world to me.”
Through some fierce competition in pool play, Team Wisconsin found themselves in a Division 1 gold medal matchup with the top team in the country, Team Kansas. At the end of the game, Team Wisconsin fell to powerhouse Team Kansas 16-8 to claim silver. Team Kansas outscored opponents 86-20 over the week, and Team Wisconsin’s eight runs scored were the most by any other team—an accomplishment in and of itself. As Travis says, “to be the best, you have to play the best.”
Travis’s favorite moment from Special Olympics USA Games was winning the silver medal, of course! He emotionally shared, “Compared to where we started to where we finished, I couldn’t be more proud of all the team accomplished. It was amazing!”
As if 2022 wasn’t exciting enough, Travis is thrilled to serve as this year’s Athlete Convoy Marshal at the Truck Convoy for Special Olympics Wisconsin presented by Kriete Truck Centers.
The sky is truly the limit for Travis and the nearly 9,000 athletes of Special Olympics Wisconsin. Thank you for helping to make opportunities like these possible.
The 2022 Truck Convoy for Special Olympics Wisconsin presented by Kriete Truck Centers will take place on Saturday, September 17.More Information