Iredell athlete named as Special Olympics ambassador

Olin resident Reece Williams, 20, has been named a Global Messenger for the Iredell Special Olympics organization.

Only ten athletes in the state are chosen each year to become Global Messengers. Williams recently attended a training program at the Special Olympics state headquarters in Morrisville to learn more about his duties.

The role includes recruitment of athletes, volunteers, coaches and donations for the Special Olympics, as well as giving public education presentations about the impact and importance of the Special Olympics.

Williams has been an athlete with the Special Olympics since 2007, participating in sailing, swimming, basketball, and bowling. He plans to start power lifting this year. He has earned 16 medals during his time competing.

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Williams met his speech coach and mentor – Kristin Kirk of Statesville — through the swim team. Kirk was a volunteer with the team when Williams participated.

Kirk joined Williams during his training, helping him write and practice his speeches. Kirk will also help Williams deliver his message.

“I love her,” Williams said. “She’s my friend.”

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“Reece is like my little brother,” Kirk said. “I feel as if God put calling on my life and it has given me a lot of opportunity.”

Williams was first inspired to compete in the Special Olympics by his cousin, Robb Williams, who was a Special Olympics athlete for 29 years and competed in multiple competitions in the state, national and world games.

“Rob used to tell me ‘don’t ever give up’,” Williams said. “So in my speech, I tell others to never give up. It’s my catchphrase.

“My hope is that others will be encouraged by all the things I have to say,” Williams said. He hopes they are encouraged to “experience new things, meet new people and see all your hard work pay off.”

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