Hard work … Dedication … Passion …
When you hear these words, a person may pop to mind. Well, get ready to meet Josh. Even if you don’t know Josh, after reading his story, you may just think of him the next time you hear one of the words above.
Josh is in Community Living’s Independent Living Assistance program and is a member of Adult Recreation Services. He is also involved with Special Olympics, and on July 25, 2015, he got the trip of a lifetime. He traveled to Los Angeles to compete in the 2015 World Games for softball.
Josh plays softball on the Fort Zumwalt Special Olympics team. He plays as a catcher and in the right and left field positions. A year before the World Games, his team, along with Special Olympic softball teams from Springfield, Kansas City and Cape Girardeau were invited to a training camp in Mexico, Mo. “Camp was a lot of fun,” Josh said.
From this camp, Josh was chosen to play on the Special Olympics USA (Missouri) softball team and represent in the 2015 World Games. Four softball teams became one, five individuals from St. Louis, five from Springfield, two from Kansas City and one from Cape Girardeau. “Some of us never played with each other before, so we had practice all over Missouri to help build our team,” Josh said.
Once in L.A., the team participated in the Opening Ceremonies and Michel Phelps, the most decorated Olympian for swimming, walked with the USA (Missouri) team. “This was the best part for me — meeting different people from all over the world.”
The team was also able to attend other World Game events — tennis, softball, soccer and bocce. “It was fun rooting on other people from Missouri and the United States,” Josh said.
The World Games for softball consisted of eight games, where the team walked away with five wins and a silver medal. After losing to Canada twice, the team knew they had to beat Canada in a third game in order to advance to the gold medal game. “The game against Canada to get to the gold medal game was great,” Josh said. “We beat them 17-5 and it was awesome.”
Unfortunately, the team lost to USA (Arizona) team in the gold medal game, 22-5. “Our team had our ups and downs, but it was a good game against Arizona,” Josh said. “I’m still shocked to have this silver medal.”
It was his hard work, his dedication and his passion for softball that got him that silver medal. “I plan to keep on going until something happens that forces me to stop,” Josh said. A true athlete to the core.
|Game 1: vs. Australia; 14-3 W||Game 2: vs. Canada; 15-9 L||Game 3: vs. Mexico; 13-5 W||Game 4: vs. Bharat (India); 12-10 W|
|Game 5: vs. Mexico; 16-13 W||Game 6: vs. Canada; 15-13 L||Game 7: vs. Canada; 17-5 W||Game 8: vs. Arizona; 22-5 L|