Meet Athlete Coach, Jonathan Stemper!

February 3, 2014

Forty-one year old Jonathan Stemper has participated in Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) basketball, athletics, flag football and bowling for the past six years.

“[My proudest moment] was making a half court shot in the state championship at the buzzer in basketball,” said Jon.

Around four years ago, Stemper wanted to help other athletes experience the joy that comes from achieving their goals. He signed up to become certified as an athlete coach in athletics and quickly reaped the rewards of his efforts. 

“Seeing the smiles on other athletes’ faces when they compete is priceless,” he said. [Coaching other athletes has helped me] become a leader and a role model.”

In addition to coaching, Stemper still competes in several Special Olympics sports. According to Stemper, coaching has not only improved his performance on the playing field, it has also increased his self-esteem.

“My self confidence has gone way up and I feel real good about myself and how far I have come,” he said.

Stemper’s coaching skills have earned him a new opportunity. This spring, Stemper will coach Team Wisconsin athletes for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games which will be held in New Jersey June 14-21.

 “[Special Olympics] has helped me get out of my comfort zone and get a voice which I never had before,” he said. “It has helped me go farther than I ever expected to go.”

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