It was an emotional moment for 18-year-old Angie Jones, as she accepted the award for Southern Arizona Special Olympics Athlete of the Year.
“It was kind of emotional when I got it and I started having tears,” said Angie, a student from Mountain View High School. “It’s a really big honor.”
The ceremony took place at the first annual Inaugural Southern Arizona Breakfast With Champions on Oct. 10 at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa. Angie received the award because of her positive attitude, team spirit, sportsmanship and passion for sports. Angie competes in tennis, golf, track and field, soccer, bowling and basketball. Her favorite of the sports is tennis, which she has played for the last 10 years.
“She loves her teachers and teacher aids and teammates so there’s a real camaraderie there,” said Linda Jones, Angie’s mom. “She’s not really competitive. She just enjoys what she does. We believe in her abilities and believe God has given her these abilities.”
Angie’s abilities go far beyond just athletics. What stands out to many is her courage and tenacity to try new things. Almost every year Angie tries a new sport or sporting event. Last year she tried competing in shot put, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
“It is really good for me because I put in a lot of effort,” said Angie. “I’m getting good at shot put now.”
All of her efforts have paid off. After receiving her award at the breakfast, Angie was given the opportunity to speak to those who attended – an opportunity that she considered an immense honor. It proved to be not only an emotional day for Angie but for her parents as well.
“It means a lot of things to me. It shows that we need to give someone a chance…we just believe in her abilities to try new things,” said Linda. “We believe she is capable. We look at the abilities not disabilities. We are very proud of her.”
Angie is a junior at Mountain View High School and hopes to graduate next school year. After graduating she wants to get a part- time job and be more actively involved in the community.
“I see her working in the community as an advocate,” said Linda. “She’s played a huge role in encouraging others and I believe God will open doors for her.”