Washington County Special Olympics athletes score big in Orlando

Special Olympics athletes from the WAVE school in Washington County earned medals while competing at the state games in Orlando this month. [CONTRIBUTED]

DAKOTA TINDELL and KINSLEY COOK 

Special Olympics athletes from the Washington Academy Of Varying Exceptionalities (WAVE) in Washington County got to compete in Orlando May 15-17. 

Two athletes in particular stood out among many during the weekend. Jason Smith and Zay’Driohn Hudson both brought home gold medals in individual basketball skills, showcasing their remarkable abilities and dedication to the sport.

In addition, Miranda Nowell achieved remarkable success, clinching two gold medals—one in the 100m walk and another in the softball throw. 

Another core figure in the group’s success was Cody Baker. Baker served as the WAVE ambassador, representing the team throughout the event.

The state Special Olympics games featured nearly 200 athletes who competed at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and USTA National Campus. 

School bus driver Dakota Tindell says it was incredible to see such a strong display of talent and sportsmanship from athletes across the state.

“We believe that their inspiring journey deserves recognition beyond our immediate circle. Let’s come together to applaud their achievements and showcase the spirit of excellence that thrives within our local sports community,” Tindell said.