Special Olympics Southern California represents many things to Western San Bernardino athlete Brett Laza. At just 25 years old, he’s already had a lifetime’s worth of experiences.
Perhaps his greatest thrill, Brett was one of two athletes selected worldwide to bring the torch from Greece to Los Angeles for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. The Phelan resident will add to his list of accomplishments in 2018 when he and eight others from Southern California compete in track and field at the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle.
“I can’t wait!” said Brett, an athlete since 2004.
But he’s got plenty to keep him occupied between now and next July’s big event. Brett’s current focus is the Special Olympics Southern California Fall Games on Nov. 11 and 12 in Fountain Valley.
The Fall Games stage is nothing new to Brett; he competed in floor hockey last year. But with floor hockey now moved to its own season, Brett has his sights set on singles and doubles tennis at this year’s Fall Games.
The outcome on the tennis court, however, pales in comparison to the interactions with his fellow athletes and anyone else he may come across. No matter where the competitions bring him, Brett makes it a point to create new friendships. As a Global Messenger for Special Olympics Southern California, those opportunities are seemingly endless.
“I love meeting new people and making new friends – like you,” Brett said, smiling.
Among those new friendships is fellow Western San Bernardino athlete Kenanne Fitch, who just started competing in 2017. In fact, the two hung out at this year’s Pier del Sol fundraiser in October.
Kenanne has quickly found out what Brett has already known for years.
“Special Olympics is fun for each and every one of us,” she said. “It shows that we are not afraid of competing. We learn that each and every one us is (in it for the same goal), to win a championship.”
More than 900 athletes will reach for the gold at Fall Games. Join Brett and his friends and attend as one of our Fans in the Stands. Get the VIP treatment and sign up for the Fan Experience Tour, an hour complete with cheering and meet-and-greets with the athletes and staff who make up Special Olympics Southern California.
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.