How SOCO Impacted My Life: Caitlin Hass
Special Olympics Colorado athlete, Caitlin Hass, shares her story in the guest blog post below!
- My name is Caitlin Hass. I have been an athlete with Special Olympics Colorado for eleven and a half years. I am involved with the State Youth Activation Committee, Athlete Leadership Program, and many different sports. I am writing this blog to showcase my story through talking about various SOCO events, the organization, and how SOCO has impacted me.
- When I was born, I weighed two pounds and half an ounce. I had severe bleeding in my brain and doctors told my parents I would never read, write, walk, or talk.
- My chance of doing all these things was pretty slim. My parents put me through early intervention programs to help me learn how to do all the things the doctors said I would not do.
- I got involved in Special Olympics Colorado starting when I was eight years old. My family and I started to get involved when one of my elementary school teachers mentioned it to my parents. I first started out with basketball and then transitioned into swimming. After I started swimming, I knew that would become my primary sport. I loved swimming because I enjoyed the feel of the water and it had a way of calming me.
Before finding Special Olympics Colorado, I struggled to make friends and to fit in. It was difficult for me as the kids in school knew I was in the special education program and they treated me differently for it. That was not fun. I felt isolated. I was often picked on and bullied. – Caitlin Hass | Special Olympics Colorado Athlete
Because of Special Olympics Colorado, I accomplished many things that I would have never thought possible. One of those things is competing as a part of Team Colorado at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington. I competed as a part of the swim team alongside my dad, Randy, who was the coach. I had the opportunity to compete in the High-Performance Division in which you qualify based on time. I competed in the High Performance 100 Individual Medley, High Performance 100 Freestyle, and the 400 Freestyle. I also did the butterfly leg of the 200 Medley Relay. In total at the games, I earned 2 silver medals, a bronze medal, and a 5th place ribbon.
Now, I am 19 years old. I currently attend college at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado and have plans to transfer to the University of Northern Colorado next fall. I still participate with SOCO in a variety of sports and activities. I participate in swimming, basketball, and more recently soccer and bowling. I am also involved with the Youth Activation Committee (YAC) and Athlete Leadership Program (ALPs). Without Special Olympics Colorado, I would not have been able to accomplish the things I have and would not be the person I am today.