Special Olympics athlete finds CrossFit family in Hattiesburg

Zackery Wilson, 22, who has down syndrome, moved with his family to Hattiesburg last year. Upon relocating, he found FSFIT.
Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 8:59 AM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Zackery Wilson, 22, who has Down syndrome, moved with his family to Hattiesburg last year. Upon relocating, he found FSFIT.

“Whenever we heard that Zac was coming, I was super excited,” Coach Panda, head coach and program director at FSFIT said. “I was over the moon because that just, that’s what CrossFit is for me, that’s inclusion. So, having Zac just brings that home.”

Wilson is a Special Olympics athlete who loves powerlifting and CrossFit.

“I really love it, I love it here a lot,” Wilson said. “I like to do deadlifts.”

“Deadlift is perfect,” Coach Panda said. “I mean, spot on! There’s nothing I can add to his deadlift at all.”

“I wasn’t sure what his limits were, but truthfully, he really doesn’t have any limits,” Kiko Gutierrez, personal trainer and boxer instructor at Anatomies said. “I mean, he literally does exactly the same as everybody else.”

FSFIT has not only welcomed Wilson with open arms, but they have also allowed him to design the gym’s t-shirt.

“He’s got a cool tattoo on his arm that is all of his favorite superheroes and he’s working on trying to finish it out,” Heath Graham, a partner at FSFIT said. “So, we’re taking all the proceeds from that t-shirt and finish out that tattoo for him.”

For now, you can find Wilson rocking the new shirt and hitting the weights several times a week with his FSFIT family.

“He’s been an inspiration to all of us because that kid is an amazing young man,” Graham said. “He’s actually done more things in his life than I think any of us could possibly ever dream of doing.”

“We accept all people,” Coach Panda said. “It’s about adaptability and inclusion and Zac exemplifies that, he’s perfect.”

“I love the people a lot,” Wilson said.

Wilson has Spiderman, Iron Man and Hulk tattooed on his arm. He says the next superhero he will be getting is Superwoman. T-shirts are sold at FSFIT, which is located inside Anatomies in Hattiesburg.

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