For as long as anyone can remember, the Special Olympics Davidson County athletics team always ends practice the same way-with a group cheer. And for more than two decades, David Loftis has been leading that cheer with his ever-present smile and contagious attitude.
“We always think of David as a leader and a cheerleader for his teammates and anyone that he comes across. You can’t help, but be happy around him and he always brings a smile to your face,” said Mary Ann Brown, Special Olympics Davidson County local coordinator.
It’s Loftis’ attitude that goes such a long way to setting him apart from his fellow Special Olympics athletes.
“He always focuses on his ability rather than his disability. Even though he wants to win that gold medal (and smiles a little bigger when he does), he really accepts any result graciously because he knows that he has done his best and accomplished something just by competing. He encourages his teammates to do the same and his coaches are very grateful for that!” Brown continued.
Loftis has competed in athletics, bowling, basketball and bocce during his more than 20 years as a Special Olympics athlete, taking each one seriously and consistently doing his best.
He applies that same philosophy to his life beyond competition. Loftis has held the same jobs at McDonalds for 17 years as well as 18 years with The Workshop of Davidson.
“To be able to keep two jobs for almost 20 years each is a huge accomplishment and one that speaks to just how fantastic David is. Without his extraordinary level of commitment, he would not have been able to succeed for so long,” explained Brown.
Loftis has been a fixture in the Special Olympics Davidson County movement and there’s every indication, he’ll continue to be for years to come- Hip Hip Hooray!
Congratulations David on being the 2015 Special Olympics North Carolina April Athlete of the Month!
Favorite vacation: heading to the beach
Favorite car: classic cars
Favorite animal: lions because they’re strong
Favorite movie: Saturday Night Fever