SOVT Athlete, Johnny Moretti, is running a half marathon in the 2016 Vermont City Marathon event. Read on to learn more about Johnny and his Special Olympics experience.
My name is Johnny Moretti I am just one of many athletes who compete on a Vermont Special Olympics team, and I am a person with a developmental disability.
I have also competed on the state varsity Cross Country running team, state varsity Nordic Ski team, track and field and JV Ultimate Frisbee teams with my school. I love to bike and kayak.
I have been competing in the Special Olympics, since 2012. I have competed in basketball, track, Nordic skiing, bowling, snowshoeing and bocce events. Last year I participate in the annual torch run. The torch run is where law enforcement officers run from all four corners of the state with a lit Olympic torch to Burlington to open the summer Olympic Games. I was originally invited to run one and a half miles through St Albans near my home. But 10 miles later, my father had to pull me off the course so we could go get our luggage and sign in for the games. I met up with the officers in Burlington to run into the opening ceremonies at UVM. Everyone figured, if I could run 10 miles without training, that I could definitely run a half marathon with training. I decided to sign up to run with team Special Olympics. I invited my friend Matthew LeFluer to run with me. He ran a half marathon last year in St. Albans and we are both on the St. Albans Maple leafs Special Olympics team.
One of the best things about being in special Olympics is some of my teammates from school came all the way to Woodstock the last two years to see me compete in the winter games and cheer for me. That meant so much to me because it let me know that they care about me- and they got to see me win gold medals! When I arrive at a special Olympics event I feel so pumped up because I am excited to compete, I know the people who run the event –who are so awesome- and I know so many of the other athletes. It’s great because we are also all friends, even when we compete or they win or our team wins, we’re still friends no matter what. While it is important for me to do my best, what is more important is that we build a strong community and have a great time. I plan on participating in Olympic games my entire life.
You might be asking yourself “why is this important to me” well, we need your help. The way you can support me and all of the athletes is by cheering or sponsor me or volunteer. I love the cheering.