“Krazy Kyle” loved wrestling in hardcore matches even if he was getting a chair smashed on his head or a thumb jammed in his eye. The pain was brutal but his opponent paid the price too. Such is the life of a professional wrestler. Special Olympics athlete Daryl Wilson aka “Krazy Kyle” lived out his dream working in the world of professional wrestling on the independent circuit in North Carolina, even appearing in several WWE (non-televised) events for nearly nine years. The Cumberland County resident can still feel the lasting effects of those days.
“I loved it but my body didn’t, “said the 37 year-old who left wrestling due to the toll it took on his body. “Everything was scripted for the most part but my back is messed up and I don’t have any cartilage left in my left shoulder. Still I enjoyed it; my favorite thing was seeing the smiles on the little kids’ faces. That was the best. “
”Krazy Kyle” won some and lost more but that never bothered Wilson, who lives by the Special Olympics oath. “I don’t take much stock in medals or ribbons,” said Wilson who’s been participating in Special Olympics for 16 years. “I just try my best and have fun and shake everyone’s hand. I mean that 100 percent.”
Wilson has competed in everything from athletics to bocce, cycling and softball. He currently competes in bowling, and Unified volleyball (Special Olympics athletes competing on the same team with people without intellectual disabilities) and is a certified Special Olympics head basketball coach as well.
“I consider myself very lucky to be in Special Olympics,” said Wilson, who did not know about the organization until he was out of school. “After school and before Special Olympics I was closed off from everything. When I wasn’t working I was just in my house watching TV or asleep. Special Olympics got me interacting with others and more physically active. “
Over the years, Wilson has met “The Big Show”, Hulk Hogan and found some personal notoriety on the independent circuit. But, the two accomplishments he’s most proud of are becoming a certified Special Olympics basketball coach and becoming a trained public spokesperson for Special Olympics—a Sargent Shriver Global Messenger. He is already using his public speaking training and hitting the pavement in Fayetteville drumming up support and awareness for his Special Olympics Unified volleyball team, which has the chance to compete at the USA Volleyball Open National Championships in Phoenix, Arizona in May, 2014.
“Unified sports is great. It gets all of us playing side- by-side and that makes us all better,” said Wilson. “When it comes to a disability, if we don’t see it why should you see it – I say.”
Last April at WrestleMania 29, Wilson was overjoyed to hear his two passions—Special Olympics and pro wrestling—announce a partnership. The WWE announced it had become a Founding Partner in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games to be held in New Jersey June 14-21, 2014. The WWE plans to utilize its global platforms to bring more attention to the accomplishments of Special Olympics athletes.
“That night I was wearing my Special Olympics T-shirt at a sports place watching WrestleMania ,” said Wilson. “I was watching and just stood up when I heard the announcement. It’s awesome! More people need to know about Special Olympics!”
Wilson is certainly doing his part to generate awareness of Special Olympics. The former wrestler sports a brand new large tattoo of the Special Olympics seal on his left bicep.
“I wanted to show my love and respect for Special Olympics in my own way,” said Wilson. “This is my first and likely the only tattoo I’ll ever have. I consider Special Olympics athletes not just friends but family. I feel right at home in Special Olympics. “
Wilson still watches wrestling five nights-a-week, and he can’t wait to see what 2014 brings regarding awareness for the organization now that WWE is in their corner. Good guys partnering with good guys—now that’s a main event worth watching!