Described as quiet and reserved, Maurice Watts brings out his full personality when he competes. Since he was six years old, Watts has been participating in Special Olympics and has loved every minute of it. His joy of competing has gotten him involved in numerous sports, but his coaches say he is a natural Alpine skier.
“When he started skiing, it was just because he wanted to try something new,” explains Watts’s mom, Pamela.
However, once he started competing, Watts knew he had found a new favorite sport. He has been competing at SONC’s Winter Games and Special Olympics Southeast Winter Games for many years, refining his skills and learning more about skiing.
After he found out that he was chosen to represent North Carolina at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria, he began working with his local coaches to prepare himself. To take his training even further, Watts got a gym membership to keep up with the exercises his coaches recommended and rides his bike or walks as often as he can.
In December, he attended Special Olympics USA’s training camp in Vermont and soaked up every moment of it to advance his skiing. Though he was mostly excited about meeting his coach for the first time, Watts also enjoyed meeting new people from many different places—something he also looks forward to doing in Austria.
“He’s most looking forward to competing and meeting new people,” says Pamela Watts. “He’s a little nervous about how high the slope will be, but I think when he gets to Austria, it will hit him and he will be so excited.”
Hoping to push himself past his nerves, Watts has his sights set on bringing home a medal. He can’t wait to show the world what he is made of out on the slopes!
Good luck in Austria, Maurice!
Special Olympics will pay all expenses associated with both athletes’ participation in the 2017 World Winter Games; however, donations are being accepted by Special Olympics North Carolina in support of Maurice’s journey to Austria: here.