“I enjoy the fact that I have met some of my best friends through my participation with SOWI. It gives me an opportunity to see my friends often by participating in SOWI.”
For our inaugural “My SOWI Story,” let’s hear from SOWI athlete Amanda Hefty of Mount Horeb!
What sport(s) do you participate in and what is your favorite sport?
I currently participate in bowling, bocce, and swimming, however I have also participated in track and field, softball, and basketball. My favorite sport is swimming because I have increased my skills the furthest in this sport, and take pride in my accomplishments.
What do you like most about being involved with SOWI?
I enjoy the fact that I have met some of my best friends through my participation with SOWI. It gives me an opportunity to see my friends often by participating in SOWI.
What is your favorite SOWI memory?
My favorite memory was when I made the Stevens Point newspaper for making it to the state competition, and found a picture of me and my grandma on the front page. My family would always travel to see me compete in all my events. One of my families most memorable times was my first year competing in the softball throw at 8 years old. I was so small that all the volunteers moved forward and I threw the softball over their heads. Then they backed up and my grandmother was yelling to throw it far and as she was taking the picture, I hit her on the head with the softball. We all laughed.
How would your life be different if you never joined SOWI?
I would not have known the great people that I have met over the years, including my best friends.
Why do you think other people should get involved with SOWI?
I believe that it is a great opportunity to meet new friends who also enjoy competing in the same sports as you do. In addition, I have been able to travel to new cities that I would not have traveled to without Special Olympic competitions. I have also enjoyed the dances and activities that accompany the events. Staying in hotels and college dorms is a fun experience as well.
Anything else you would like to share?
I have been swimming for 19 years. I had the opportunity this year to volunteer to help others with Down Syndrome to learn how to swim. It was a wonderful experience. I enjoy meeting new people and going new places.