Since he began competing in Special Olympics, Meadows has been counted on by many as a team captain, friend and good sport. A quiet, but determined, athlete, Meadows shows that a positive attitude and confidence can help him overcome challenges.
“He doesn’t want to be in the limelight, but he always comes through when needed,” explains local program coordinator Dalen Herring. “He is truly the glue that holds his teams together.”
Serving as team captain for basketball, bocce and softball teams throughout his years competing, Meadows has learned the importance of being a leader and teammate. To him, being competitive is part of the game, but it’s more important to encourage his fellow athletes whether they’re on his team or not. Meadows has been known to praise his opponents’ accomplishments and go out of his way to let them know they are doing well. He truly believes that practicing good sportsmanship and encouragement are as much a part of the game as competitiveness is.
When his four-person bocce team suddenly needed a new team captain before Special Olympics North Carolina’s 2014 Fall Tournament, Meadows stepped up to lead them to victory. Down by three, the team was losing hope. Meadows continued to support his team, believing they could turn the game around. Before time ran out, they made a comeback and won all four points and the game.
“At first, the team was kind of falling apart,” says Herring. “But Ronnie was the biggest cheerleader for his teammates and they came back and won!”
It’s not surprising why that game is now one of his favorite moments in Special Olympics. For Meadows, it wasn’t just about the win. Being able to lift his teammates’ spirits and helping them reach their goals is what made that game a success.
When he isn’t competing, you can find Meadows practicing for one the many sports he plays. On game nights at Caswell Development Center, Meadows heads straight to the Wii to help him work on his bowling game.
With all of his hard work, determination and passion for sports, it’s no wonder Meadows’s catchphrase fits him so well! You’re the man, Ronnie!
Congratulations to Ronnie Meadows on being named the 2016 Special Olympics NC December Athlete of the Month!
Sports Team: Lakers
Video Game: Wii Bowling