After being a part of Special Olympics for 23 years, Phillip Williamson of Johnston County knows that one of the best parts of competing is the experience itself. Williamson currently plays basketball, soccer, softball and golf, and has had numerous experiences that have been life-changing.
When the 1999 Special Olympics World Games took place in Raleigh, Williamson got to compete in a basketball game at the Dean Smith Center at UNC –Chapel Hill.
As a Tar Heel fan, that experience alone became one of his favorite memories. However, what made it even more special to Williamson, was that it also happened to be his 14th birthday!
Despite this exciting memory with basketball, his favorite sport to play is golf.
“I like playing golf because I get to play with my dad, even if I’m not the best golfer,” explains Williamson.
Williamson’s father, Aubrey, is his Unified partner. The Williamsons describe playing golf as a Unified pair as great father-son time. They explain that it is great to just spend time together and motivate each other to keep trying.
That same encouragement is what Williamson gives to his other teammates.
“It’s important to motivate my teammates because it promotes good leadership on and off the field and it allows for good sportsmanship,” said Williamson. “It also helps me be a good role model for the younger athletes on my team.”
In addition to being a role model, Williamson recently became a Global Messenger and is excited to share the impact that Special Olympics has had on him with others.
Particularly, Williamson wants others to know that Special Olympics changed his life in a positive way, and can change theirs, too. From playing his favorite sports to meeting new people, Williamson’s Special Olympics experiences have made all the difference.
Congratulations Phillip Williamson on being named 2016 Special Olympics NC September Athlete of the Month!
Color: Carolina Blue
Vacation: New York City
Sports Team: Chicago Cubs