Special Olympics coach ready to help athletes ‘be brave’
Published 9:30 pm Thursday, May 15, 2014
Elizabeth Locascio will participate in the Special Olympics Alabama State Games at Troy University this weekend. She has participated in the Games every year since 2007.
But Locascio has never competed in the games. She is a volunteer coach for Team Pike County.
“When I volunteered the first year, I really didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “But, it was an experience that I will never forget and one that I look forward to each year.”
Locascio said “all” she does is get the Olympians to their events, make sure they know what to do and take care of any needs they have.
“The Special Olympic Games are very special for the athletes because they have an opportunity to compete with those who have similar abilities so they are not judged by others,” Locascio said. “Team Pike County has 15 members and they are all excited to compete and I’m excited for them. There’s no real pressure to win at the Special Olympic Games. The motto is ‘Let me win if I can but, if I can’t win, let me be brave in the attempt.’ All the athletes are brave in the attempt. They enjoy the competition and, if they win, that’s great but, if they don’t, they’ve still had a good time.”
Locascio said being around Team Pike County each year is always a heartwarming experience. “They are always happy and excited because they get to compete but, most of all, they have fun and, to them, that’s the most important thing,” she said.
Of course, there are moments of disappointment for some of the Olympians but fleeting moments. “They have too much fun to be disappointed very long,” Locascio said. “I’m looking forward to a wonderful weekend and I’m honored to be a part of such a wonderful team.”
Locascio is a 911 operator with the City of Troy and she made arrangements early so she could be off to be a “coach” for Team Pike County.
The Opening Ceremony for the 2014 Special Olympics Alabama State Games is at 7 p.m. tonight at Trojan Arena. The Olympic events will get underway at 9 a.m. Saturday at different venues on the University campus and around the city.
The Closing Ceremony for the Games will be at 8:30 Sunday morning at Sartain Hall. More than 1,000 Special Olympians are expected to participate in the state Games. Team Pike County members are Beth Bardling, Muhammed Blair, Marissa Brunje, Louis Chamber, Johnny Corley, Tysheen Eaddy, Heath Flemming, Sairah Garner, Emily Johnson, Brandon Rhodes, David Spivey, Hannah Stuckey, Ryan Taylor and Joey Welch.