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The games are a family affair for the Wattersons

July 21, 2010

Nick Watterson

Missouri power lifter Nick Watterson receives another gold medal on Monday at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games.

Photo and Story by: Corinne Burger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

“Go for the Gold” yelled 26 year old Missourian athlete Nick Watterson as he accepted his third gold medal in power lifting at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games on Monday.

Nick has been involved in Special Olympics for almost 10 years, participating in basketball, bowling, softball, swimming and his favorite, power lifting. After eight years of competing, Nick achieved his goal of gold this week declaring, “The hard work pays off.”

The Special Olympics have become a family affair for the Wattersons from Springfield, Mo. Nick’s father, David, is involved in the organization as Nick’s day-to-day power lifting coach and the youngest Watterson children, Noel and Michael, have competed in the Special Olympics Unified Sports program for softball, bowling and basketball.

In addition, Nick’s brother Jonathan is currently the coach for the Missouri basketball team at the USA National Games in Lincoln. Jonathan attributes his involvement as a coach to his brother, saying, “Nick is my personal motivational speaker. He’s a daily inspiration to me.”

Not only has the organization had an impact on the Wattersons individually, but their time spent working together also has had a huge impact on their relationships with each other. “The experience has really brought us so much closer as a family,” says Nick’s mother, Cindy Watterson.

The whole family feels blessed to be able to come together and experience the games and see the athletes compete, they said. Knowing how hard his own son works to be able to compete, David commends all the athletes at the USA National Games. “It’s total hard work and dedication. All these athletes should be honored for what they’ve done just to get here. Special Olympics opens up a whole new world to special kids with the same heart and aspirations of being a champion.”

Cheering

Jonathan, Michael, and Noel Watterson cheer on their brother as their mother, Cindy, captures the moment on film.

Family

Front: Noel Watterson, Cindy Watterson, coach Eddie Blaylock of St. Louis. Back: Jonathan Watterson, Nick Watterson, Michael Watterson and David Watterson.



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1 Comment »

  1. Go Nick!!!!!

    Way to go Wattersons!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing your lives and talents!!

    Comment by Dale Garrett — August 10, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

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