“You get to feel good about yourself when you are at the games and know you did your best, even if you didn’t win. Everybody is so nice to you.”

This week we hear from athlete Briana Larson from Plum City. Briana shares a great story about why she likes being a part of SOWI and how her life would be different without it!

How and when did you become involved with SOWI?
The Ellsworth Area coach, who is a social worker that works with my mom, had asked a few times if I wanted to be involved with SOWI before I finally said YES. That was 6 years ago, and I have had tons of fun being involved since then.

What sport(s) do you participate in and what is your favorite sport?
I am in Track and Field – softball throw, standing long jump and 50 meter run, bocce, and bowling. It’s hard to pick a favorite one, but if I had to choose, bocce and bowling would be tied for my favorite.

What do you like most about being involved with SOWI?
I love going to meets, getting together for practices, of course winning, and getting to go to state. I’ve made new friends that I get to see all the time from all over. It’s been fun learning how to work together on a team, and learning new skills that make me a better player. My mom and dad and grandma get to come and watch me, and sometimes my sisters even come! SOWI is just lots of fun and I look forward to my different events coming up.


Holding the agency banner

Tell us about one of your favorite memories with SOWI.
I have lots and lots of great memories, but my favorite is when I got the Sportsmanship Award for our team. I was so happy I cried and had a hard time getting it together because I was so surprised and so happy.

How would your life be different if you never joined SOWI?
My life would be really different because I would have not made all of the friends I have now. I wouldn’t have gotten to experience staying in the dorms when we went to State, I wouldn’t have all of the different sports to look forward to being involved in during the year, and I never would have been able to apply for the USA Games!


With friends after an event

Why do you think other people should get involved with SOWI?
I think other people should be involved in SOWI because it is just so much fun! You get to meet so many new people and go to places that you would probably not get to go to otherwise. You get to feel good about yourself when you are at the games and know you did your best, even if you didn’t win. Everybody is so nice to you.

Anything else you would like to share?
I just really want to say that I love Special Olympics! I have a lot of fun doing stuff with all of the other athletes on my team. And Kathy, my coach, is really good to us. She always makes sure we all have a good time.