Joe Hreish was back in the city that re-ignited his passion for Special Olympics, and he couldn’t help but smile about it.
The Orange County athlete was among nearly 50 Special Olympics Southern California athletes competing in the Nike 3-on-3 basketball tournament in downtown Los Angeles. It was two years ago, during the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, when he got to interact with athletes from the Netherlands and Australia during Host Town events in Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley.
Joe – who went on a nine-year hiatus before returning as an athlete in 2016 – said he was so blown away by World Games that he immediately asked the Orange County office: “Where’s the papers” to sign up?
“I love all my friends [at Special Olympics],” Joe, 41, said, reflecting upon all Special Olympics has done for him. “Special Olympics has made me trustworthy of myself and more independent.
“I’m so glad my team and Orange County get a chance to play in the Nike 3-on-3 tournament.”
Inside the SOSC is a blog written by staff member Tracy McDannald. It is a more feature-style approach to looking inside what makes Special Olympics Southern California so unique, so special. It is meant to explore the people and their stories. One word at a time.