Although Richard Bashaw is relatively new to the Special Olympics scene, his life has changed profoundly since becoming an athlete three years ago. Since joining Special Olympics, Richard has grown stronger, healthier, and more confident. Competing, winning medals and traveling inspire Richard to train year-round in aquatics, basketball, bocce and soccer; demonstrating his incredible abilities in inspires others when they witness Richard’s talent in sports or when they meet him at school or church. This past summer Richard’s expertise in bocce took him to Lincoln, Nebraska with 60 additional teammates from Massachusetts to compete in the 2010 National Games. He was proud to be a member of Team USA and joined over 3,000 athletes from around the nation at the elite competition. In the weeks leading up to his departure for the Games, Richard would tell friends and family, “I cannot wait…”
The success Richard experiences through sports translates into increased confidence in other aspects of his well-rounded life. He is a dedicated scholar who graduated from the Willie Ross School. Also, when he is not training he enjoys helping at the church he attends in Chicopee. Richard is happy with the positive changes in his life since becoming a Special Olympics athlete. He is proud of being healthy and fit through sports training but he most looks forward to competing and traveling. Time at competitions gives him the chance to demonstrate his incredible abilities as well as time to socialize with teammates and athletes from other teams.
Richard and his family are thrilled with the drive and discipline he demonstrates in sports and in life. They are grateful for Special Olympics and the opportunities it provides for those with intellectual disabilities and how the organization has greatly enhanced Richard’s life.
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