“It makes me feel like I can do anything,” bowling gold medalist Billy Callahan excitedly shared of the empowerment he receives from his participation in Special Olympics. Callahan recalls his first Special Olympics competition at just eight years old, where he won gold medals in both speed skating and track. In experiencing a strong support network and healthy sports camaraderie, Callahan was motivated to share those impacts with his community.
Callahan’s local program, Special Olympics Rutherford County, held its first competitive events for the first time in nearly 20 years, allowing him to compete in bowling at the 2019 Summer Games. Thrilled to return to the competition and cheer on his community, Callahan appreciates Special Olympics for teaching the importance of relationship building and determination.
Outside of Special Olympics, Callahan is a familiar face throughout his community and a friend to many in his bowling league, his church’s youth program and the weekly swim aerobics classes he attends with his mother, Kathy. A lover of all things NASCAR, he even got the chance to visit the Daytona International Speedway in February. Above all, Callahan enjoys spending his free time with his close-knit family.
Callahan expresses his dedication to serving others through many outlets. On Friday nights, he volunteers at the local skating rink, where he has also perfected his skating skills for many years.
Two of the volunteer positions that Callahan takes the most pride in are his roles of chairperson at the front desk and Vice President of the Auxiliary Board at the local hospital. When Callahan is not busy creating schedules and assisting visitors, he is voting on the Auxiliary Board’s budget and allocations. Pleased with the board’s decisions, Callahan has played a role in raising money for local backpack programs, summer programs for elementary students and day programs for special needs adults.
Callahan takes pride in assisting the board to support projects at Chase High School of Rutherford County, including the purchase of new wrestling mats. Chase High School hosts a prom for special needs students and adults, attracting many guests each year. Eager to attend the annual prom, Callahan is excited by the opportunity to give back to the high school. In October of 2019, Callahan will have served as Vice President of the Auxiliary Board for two years and will have the opportunity to become President of the Board. Ready and willing to serve, he looks forward to helping others along the way.
Whether he is encouraging his bowling partner or volunteering, an undeniable energy and a zest for life shines through Callahan. Callahan’s passion for kindness and giving back to the community highlights his genuine and charitable spirit.
When asked about his favorite part of working with the hospital, Callahan replied, “Helping others.” Callahan is a vital part of the Rutherford County community and is an exceptional role model to individuals everywhere because of his enthusiasm for building relationships and helping others. Billy Callahan is an all-around gold medalist as both an athlete and a volunteer.