Special Olympics Pennsylvania #50for50: Tyler Zahos

#50for50: Volume 36
▪️ Tyler Zahos
▪️ 21 years old
▪️ York County

“I started with Special Olympics when I did Unified track and field two years ago. My coach [Deb Gable] talked me into it because I could run fast. I did Unified bocce as well. I liked to ride on the bus to the track meets. I made a lot of new friends on the track team and I liked going to practices. I liked bocce, too. We won third place in the regional tournament and I showed the medal to all my friends. … This past year I got involved with the men’s basketball team at York College. I got to go to all the practices and was a part of the team. We would stretch and warm up and shoot around. For the games, I sat on the bench with the team and the trainers and cheered everyone on. At the end of the game, I high-fived the other team. Before the games I would warm up on the court and if somebody got injured I was always very worried about them. … I’m still in contact with a lot of the players on Instagram or by talking to them on the phone. I went to the away games, too, and this year we made it pretty far [in the postseason]. After our last game in Ohio we went to Buffalo Wild Wings, and that was a lot of fun. I got the honey mustard wings and fries. I did a lot of cheering for the team and even got to cut the net down after the first game in Ohio. We all went bowling one night and then went to the coaches’ house for dinner, too. After the season the team gave me a present — an acrylic basketball hoop and they all signed the backboard. … I recently entered and won a photo contest from the National Down Syndrome Society where my graduation portrait will be displayed on a Billboard in New York City to help kick off this year’s Buddy Walk. In my free time I like to watch a lot of YouTube. I like to dance and I like ‘Grease.’ I’ve watched all the versions of it in all the different languages. This fall I’m going to go to Penn State – Harrisburg and am enrolled in a Career Studies program. I’m excited to get on campus and meet new people.”

Photograph by Erin Elaine Photography

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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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