FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Camp Shelby is hosting the Special Olympics Mississippi Fall Games this weekend. It’s where athletes with special needs can compete against one another in sports they love.
Running the bases, throwing the softball and hitting a home run. It’s an atmosphere where kids and adults with special needs can have fun while still having that competitive edge, even if they can only use one arm in the outfield.
"It’s pretty easy. All I do is watch for the ball, see if the ball is coming to me. I try to watch for the ball, see if it’s coming to me. I catch it up, look up. When it pops up, I catch it with my hand,” said Jason Thomas, an athlete in the Special Olympic games.
Thomas lost his right arm in a tornado when he was 11. His aunt said he suffered head injuries that affected his mental health, but what was more devastating, is the storm took his mother’s life.
"It wasn’t fun. I was in the air for a while. They tried to find my arm. They couldn’t do nothing with it. I had to train myself how to do everything left-handed,” said Thomas.
Now, Thomas is living his best life playing the sport he loves, softball.
“It feels pretty good. I like to play with them. It makes me play harder, compete harder, play my best,” said Thomas.
Thomas and his fellow athletes are ecstatic to get this opportunity to play against one another and build a family.
“It feels good. Help my teammates out a whole lot. Have my family with me. We work like teamwork,” said Thomas Mason, an athlete in the Special Olympic games.
Everyone who participates is a winner and gets a medal.