Team Texas Wins Gold At 2022 Special Olympics
Team Texas took home a gold medal in this summer’s Special Olympics in Orlando, defeating Washington in the playoffs for the championship title in National Intercollegiate Flag Football.
Part of Texas A&M’s Unified Sports program, Team Texas is comprised of unified athletes and partners. When the team landed in Orlando, Florida, last month to compete, they were greeted by two-time Superbowl champion Peyton Manning.
Fred Clubb, clinical professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, coached the team and is father to one of the athletes, Ross Clubb.
The coach said his goal is to “inspire these students so when they graduate they will continue the next generation for Special Olympics. I think we met and exceeded these goals with this victory.”
He said the intensity of the training and competition with A&M intramural team members helps Special Olympics athletes make major strides in improving their game. The team spent months preparing for the competition, utilizing Texas A&M Rec Sports facilities for practices in anticipation of the games.
Unified Sports is an international Special Olympics effort in which about 1.4 million people participate, “breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities in a really fun way,” the organization says. “Teams are made up of people of similar age and ability, which makes practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all. Having sport in common helps to sweep away preconceptions and false ideas.”
In addition to flag football, the Unified Sports program at A&M includes basketball and bocce.
Texas A&M Rec Sports Director Rick Hall said he and his staff are enthusiastic about the program and the recent win.
“We are so proud of Texas bringing home the gold,” he said. “It has been thrilling watching them compete over the years and we are looking forward to seeing this program continue to grow and strengthen the relationship with the Texas A&M student body.”