How many people can say “I’m a 2017 Special Olympics World Games athlete”? Out of the 12,000+ athletes in Massachusetts, only four can. And speed skater Patrick Adams is one of them. An experienced World Games athlete, Adams, previously competed in 2009 World Games in Idaho and the Special Olympics National Games in Iowa. But for Adams the 2017 World Games in Austria was different. Adams wanted to be a part of the 2017 games because “he loves to speed skate and enjoys competing with other athletes from different countries. It is a fun challenge and a great way to meet new people.”
Adams speed skating career started fifteen years ago when a family friend, the Robert family helped him learn to skate and worked with him on his form and technique. Kyle Robert continued to skate with Adams for many years as a unified partner; a unified partner is an individual without an intellectual disability, who trains and competes with a Special Olympics athlete with an intellectual disability. Of all the sports that Adams participates in, he says, “speed skating is my favorite sport.”
Because of his love for the sport, Adams has been working very hard training to prepare for the Games. He practices with his Special Olympics Massachusetts Greater Springfield team once a week on the ice at their skating sessions. He’s also been working weekly with a trainer to help build up his leg strength. In early December Adams joined his Special Olympics USA teammates (over 200 in total!) to participate in the Special Olympics USA World Games team training camp in Killington, Vermont. While at camp the speed skaters worked hard both on ice at skating sessions and off ice at strength sessions. “My favorite part of training camp was getting to meet all my teammates and getting to know everyone,” Adam shared.
Adams was so excited when he learned he was going to World Games that he, “immediately called my dad and sister to share the great news.” Still very excited to share the experience, his family plans to travel to Austria to cheer on their favorite speed skater. Adam’s immediate family, his dad and sister, as well as a few aunts and uncles will be making the trip. The rest of the family will be checking their messages daily to see how he does in his races. Besides watching his fellow speed skaters, Adams is hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the snowboarding and skiing events. “I grew up skiing with my family so that would be fun to watch,” he said. But the one thing Adams is most looking forward to on his trip is “seeing my teammates and meeting other athletes from around the world. I am so excited to compete.”
And we are excited to watch you compete. Congratulations for Patrick Adams, 2017 Special Olympics World Games speed skater from Massachusetts.
Be sure to follow all of the coverage from Austria on ESPN and ABC:
ESPN’s Groundbreaking Coverage of Special Olympics World Winter Games Begins March 18 From Austria