Special Olympics Pennsylvania #50for50: Colt List

#50for50: Volume 27
▪️ Colt List
▪️ 38 years old
▪️ Lawrence County

“I was born in Las Vegas. I was really little when I was there, so I’ve pretty much been in Pennsylvania for 97 percent of my life. I was sick when I was a baby. I had cancer. We had to move, I think, for that reason. But basically I had a Wilms’ tumor on one of my kidneys. I’m completely healthy now, but they had to take out the entire kidney. … I’ve been in Special Olympics since 2005. I think I heard about it through word of mouth. My stepmom knew somebody in the program. I started bowling, that was my first sport, and then I went on from there. Bocce was next, then I started volleyball and most recently I did swimming. It was kind of hard at first because I was living with my parents in Bessemer. I was always depending on them to take me where I wanted to go. But once I moved to New Castle, then I was able to do more. I’ve been where I’m living at for almost four years. It’s more like a group home setting, but it’s independent living. I learned how to pretty much live on my own. Like cooking and doing laundry and stuff like that I learned how to do without any help. I picked it up pretty quick. Cooking before, I maybe zapped some stuff in the microwave, but here I’m cooking for four or five other people. I like doing the pastas and I do a lot of chicken dishes and stuff like that. I like to just try different things. … I work at a movie theater in New Castle. I also work on a janitorial crew with Lark Enterprises in New Castle and we go to different places and clean apartment buildings and stuff like that. I’m also a donation attendant at Goodwill. Goodwill is pretty much my main one, but I’m not working there right now. Hopefully we’re going to be going to the green phase soon, so they’ll be asking more people to come back to work. I’ve been helping out at my church, too, passing out food one or two days a week. People come in their cars and we give them a few dinners and drinks and whatever we have. I’ve just been trying to help out with whatever I can. … I’ve been to Penn State a few times, I’ve been to Villanova a few times but I also got asked to be an Athlete Leader and an Athlete Representative on our county’s management team. Once I started going to the classes, I definitely wanted to do it more, get more involved. I was never a good speaker before — I was always nervous and stuff like that — but since I started with this program, I’ve spoken at a summit in Pittsburgh, at Slippery Rock, at Penn State and at Villanova. … Going to Washington, D.C. for Capitol Hill Day is probably my favorite thing I’ve done so far. I spoke to a bunch of representatives and a senator, so that was cool. I got to go in their offices and speak to them or their aide. We were talking about continuing funding for health care for the athletes and Unified Champion Schools. I had a little speech planned and I pretty much said the same thing for every one one of them. But we also basically just sat in chairs and talked. It was a conversation. It was definitely something I will remember for a long time and hopefully get to do again some day. For being the only one representing Pennsylvania that day, I was very proud.”

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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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