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Track and Field Team ready to bring perfect storm to Summer Games

There’s a storm coming to Little City’s Special Olympics team and Nick and Michelle are bringing the thunder and lightning.

The dynamic duo is attempting to make a breakthrough for Little City and bring home a pair of gold medals in track and field from the 2018 Illinois Special Olympics Summer Games. Gold medals and plenty of success in Special Olympics is not unfamiliar to Little City, but it’s often led by the powerlifting program.

In 2017, Little City took home 38 medals at the Summer Games including 17 golds, but 15 of those came courtesy of the powerlifting team. Nick – the thunder – plans on changing that dynamic along with his partner Michelle – the lightning.

“I love [Special Olympics], it’s a lot of fun,” Nick said. “But I love the competition the most. I like to win.”

Nick and Michelle both qualified for two track and field events – the softball throw and the 50-meter run. But they know where their strengths lie and Nick hopes for a gold in the softball throw while Michelle looks for one in the 50-meter run.

The two can help push each other because of their long partnership both on and off the field. Previously, the duo qualified for bocce ball competition at the Summer Games so they are no strangers to the kind of competition they will face on the weekend of June 15 this year in track and field. Off the field, the two are nearly inseparable and that chemistry has helped get them to where they are.

Little City coach Tim Lahart is optimistic about good showings from the track and field team this year because of the number of practices they have been able to hold leading up to the June 15 Games – a luxury the team did not have in 2017.

“We haven’t missed a practice so that helps,” Tim said. “Nick has his ebbs and flows but he has really worked hard to get after it and Michelle, maturity wise, has really grown and handles things much, much better.”

Six other athletes will join Nick and Michelle on the track and field side as they all look to set new personal bests – the true standard to which Tim holds all his athletes.

But for Michelle, that gold would make the personal best look a little better. And she’s not short on confidence.

“Nick throws far. He definitely throws farther than me,” Michelle said. “He’s fast too…just not as fast as me.”

If she has it her way on June 15, there may be no one faster than Michelle.

"There are so many capable and caring staff at Little City, past and present, who have helped Clifford. He has made a lot of progress in mastering his behavior."

Colleen, Mother of a child living in a ChildBridge Group Home