2022 USA Games Profiles: Jacob Carey

This is Jacob Carey.

Jacob is a Special Olympics Pennsylvania athlete from Lycoming County who competed in bocce at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.

Throughout three levels of competition (singles, doubles and team) Jacob captured two gold medals and one silver on the sport’s biggest stage.

We took a moment to catch up with Jacob and talk about his sport, his family and his experience in Orlando.

“I’ve been playing bocce for a year now, but I’ve been swimming all my life. When I got into this it was new to me, but I thoroughly enjoy it and I want everybody else to enjoy it. There are probably people who are like, ‘oh, it’s just an old man’s game, there’s nothing to it.’ But if you just see how everybody else is acting, how they like this game, you would cherish it too. …

I’m glad I came here to experience this – not everyone can say that they came to Orlando to participate in the USA Games and say they came out with a gold medal. The match was back and forth, but once I heard ‘one point, red’ and I won the match, it felt invigorating. I felt a sense of euphoria after that. I was just so happy and overjoyed. I just had a smile on my face that I couldn’t get rid of. Even after this is all over and everyone goes home, they’ll remember the days that they were in Orlando for the USA Games. And they should hold onto that with pride and integrity. …

I am a man that wants to see others happy, wants to see others succeed and wants to help. I just want to be that person that people can count on, cry on their shoulder, and know that when things are going bad, there’s always a light at the end of the darkness. …

When it comes to this sport and [Special Olympics], you feel like you are in a special group and a special society, you feel like there are people who care about you when no one else does. Special Olympics has been my family ever since I started this and I would not have it any other way. …

My dad dying in a coma accident was the hardest part [of my life]. It was tough but I managed to overcome it and push forward. I said, ‘I can’t let this depression hold me down and have me be such a downer.’ I was 16 or 17 when he died and I’m 27, going to be 28. When I compete, I dedicate all my matches for swimming and bocce to my dad. And even [in Orlando], I still dedicate all my matches to my dad to this day. …

If I were to see his face right now, he would say that he would be proud of me and that I just should strive on and keep on going, never give up and keep on doing what you’ve been doing. I can’t add anything further to that, just to say that I hope he’s doing well.”

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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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