Phil Roberson may be 60 years-old but he can shake his hips like the King himself. The Special Olympics Beaufort/Hyde athlete is Elvis Presley’s No.1 fan! He owns countless Elvis T-shirts, listens to all his songs and watches one of Elvis’ 31 movies daily. Phil does impersonations of Elvis from time to time too. He owns a rubber Elvis mask and sheer scarves for his neck and he has all the moves down.
“Sometimes he’ll shake those hips and then slide his hands along either side of his head like he’s slicking back his hair,” said his sister Phyllis Hendrickson laughing. “What makes it so funny is that Phil doesn’t have any hair anymore! He’s got that charm like Elvis too. He’s a ladies’ man and loves to socialize. He’s really quite a ham!”
Phil has made lots of friends through his more than 40 years in Special Olympics. His parents made sure he was never left out and experienced everything his sister, cousins and other kids were doing. He began participating in Special Olympics in 1972. Over the years, he’s competed in aquatics, athletics (track & field), basketball, bowling, golf, and his favorite sport Alpine-skiing!
“Phil has always been very athletic, agile and never afraid of anything,” said Hendrickson. “When we were younger he water-skied and could do double flips on the trampoline. I’ve always been so proud of him. He really has abilities that far exceed what I could ever do.”
Special Olympics has had a big impact on both of their lives. Hendrickson served as the Special Olympics local coordinator for a decade and stills serves on the local steering committee and as an Alpine-ski coach.
“Special Olympics has been life-changing for us,” said Hendrickson. “It’s been so wonderful to see athletes blossom by having opportunities they may not have otherwise had before. I think it’s been amazing to witness the impact the athletes have on volunteers too. It just makes your heart swell!”
When he’s not competing in Special Olympics, Phil works three days a week at the Beaufort County Developmental Center. The Center was founded in 1974 by his father who led a group of concerned parents to create the Center to provide vocational opportunities and services for people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Phil also attends the Beaufort County Community College two days a week.
“If you ask Phil, he says ‘I’m getting old’, laughs his sister. “He is slowing down a bit but Phil is still very active and social.”
Well, it’s one for the money,
Two for the show,
Three to get ready,
Now go, PHIL go!
Congratulations to Phil Roberson the 2013 December Athlete of the Month!
Drink: Hot Tea because its warm.
Book: the Bible. Phil is a prayer warrior and loves praying and going to church.
Sports Team: NC State
Car: All sports cars