Special Olympics Pennsylvania #50for50: Will Quinn

#50for50: Volume 23
▪️ Will Quinn
▪️ 38 years old
▪️ Bucks County

“I was a student at Bucks County Community College and I saw they were offering a swim class. And in high school or college I never really participated in sports. I was a manager on the team and I watched my sisters all swim, but I really never thought about taking an opportunity like this. Once I took that class, my mom mentioned something about Special Olympics. I was a little nervous at first because I wasn’t really sure of how the practices would run and stuff like that. I started making friends. It felt like a group of people that I can rely on. And now I’ve been doing it for 15 years. I swim and do track & field. I really enjoy hanging out with all the people there. … In 2011, I graduated with my Associate’s Degree in Office Administration and I did an internship at the Bucks Campus in Newtown. That was the greatest experience of my life because those were the nicest people ever. I really learned a lot — really using life skills on my computer or things I didn’t know before. … I work at the Giant [supermarket] in Newtown. It’s been about 20 years. I’m a bagger, I get the carts, help out the front end, do what needs to be done. If someone says ‘I need this done,’ I’ll do it. The people are really nice over there. My mom is about 70 years old and several years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer, so she’s a little compromised for getting the virus. My parents are relatively healthy now, but they were concerned about me giving them the virus, so we called my work. I didn’t know what to expect, but they told me to stay home and be safe and that they’ll hold my job until I come back. And that really made me feel good that I can do that. … I have three sisters, five nephews and one niece. I’m very proud of them. They keep me busy. They love to see me compete. They love it. I just remember my parents always being there for me, supporting me for whatever events I’m doing. And trying to encourage me to do my best. I want people to know that when you see me compete, I have a big heart. I never give up and I’m always ready to get better. … In 2014, I competed at the USA Games in New Jersey. And over there I learned so much about track. I learned the rules and I felt like I did OK. I also met my girlfriend, Jaclyn, there. I was just sitting out waiting for my team to come where we were and I saw her. She did swimming and I did track and now she’s still doing swimming and I’m doing track and we both love it. Any time that I was off during Summer Games I loved to go see her compete because it makes me feel happy. It’s something that I really enjoy.”

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Special Olympics Pennsylvania

The mission of Special Olympics Pennsylvania is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

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