Thrill of Victory

Mav athletes compete in Special Olympics


The Special Olympics organization wants to see a world that takes equality seriously.
McNeil athletes participate in events such as swimming, basketball and weight lifing, to name a few.
”It is our goal as coaches to help athletes master new skills, enjoy the thrill of competition, demonstrate positive sportsmanship, and to learn to work as a team,” Coach Shawn Merritt said. “If we helped our athletes to achieve their personal best, then we know we have succeeded. It’s no different than any other athletic endeavor.”
To compete, athletes must be at least 8 years old and identified as having an intellectual disability. Students who meet eligibility requirements able to train and compete with the RRISD Special Olympics team in various sports throughout the school year.
“It’s really fun,” senior Sydney Weigand said. “I make a lot of friends and see a lot of new people.”
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year round sports training and competition for individuals with an intellectual disability. Special Olympics transforms lives through the joy of sport, every day, everywhere. It is the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities with more than 4.7 million athletes in 169 countries, and over a million volunteers.
“It’s cool and it’s awesome,” senior Rachel Yedanapallii said. “We are so happy that we can do this every year; it’s really a good cause.”
For more information about volunteering opportunities with RRISD athletes, go to