“Never give up” is one phrase we’ve all heard time and time again. For some people, it’s just three simple words, but for others it’s so much more. One up and coming athlete has conquered the impossible and continues to do so every single day. Hitting the track in his very first Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games, eight year-old Vincent Troche from Mecklenburg County was turning heads in this year’s athletics competition!
Vincent isn’t your average cartoon-watching child. Sports are what caught his attention at young age. He loves to watch ESPN and enjoys watching lacrosse games on Youtube. “Vincent has always loved sports, but we didn’t know if he would be able to find a sport he could call his own,” Vincent’s dad Michael Troche said.
Difficulties with muscle movement prevented Vincent from playing baseball and basketball. However, fear soon turned to admiration when Vincent decided to take his grandmother’s advice and participate in Special Olympics Mecklenburg County track and field. His family has been amazed by his success.
Three months ago, Vincent couldn’t run more than five or six steps in a straight line and today he’s competing in state-level competition and making a name for himself while running the 25m and 50m dash placing second in both, and landing in first place in standing long jump!
“Vincent gets distracted easily but with running it’s different, he’s so focused,” Vincent’s dad proudly said. “We never could have imagined he would be where he is today. We’re so happy he has something of his own, he accomplished himself, it’s his sport!”
Track has allowed Vincent’s confidence to grow tremendously, he’s more focused in school along with other areas, and his concentration and motivation have also improved. It’s helped him break away from his shell. “He wants to hang out with his teammates, not with me and grandma anymore” said Vincent’s dad with excitement.
Vincent’s experience in Special Olympics has positively impacted his whole family. His older brother now recognizes his abilities rather than his disabilities and his younger siblings have an incredible athlete they can look up to. “It’s been a great thing for everyone in our family. We’ve been blown away by everything here at the Summer Games too, awesome facilities, activities, and volunteers. I can’t say enough,” said Troche. The experience has been so positive it’s a sure bet Vincent will now turn his attention to choosing a fall sport to compete in.