USA Games Spotlight: Tina Phipps

By Sean Minnihan

For many of the Special Olympics athletes heading to the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, their accolades and accomplishments include several gold and silver medals in regional and chapter competitions. Tina Phipps has done just that and in more than five years of competitions.

While she is competing in bocce this summer in Seattle, Tina is a multi-sport athlete and has found success in all of her endeavors.

At first glance, one might mistake her initial shy and timid demeanor for a lack of competitive edge. However, her medal count is evidence that Tina flourishes in a competitive atmosphere. Her gold medals range from the softball throw at her very first Inland Empire Regional Games in 2013, to 5-A-side soccer in 2014, basketball at the 2017 Inland Empire Regional Games, and of course several gold medals in bocce including the 2016 SOSC Summer Games and 2018 Inland Empire Regional Games this past April.

“I wanted to do sports,” Tina said about initially getting involved.

And when she reflects on what she enjoys most about it, Tina responds with a big smile. For her, it’s as simple as “throwing the ball and getting medals.”

Tina loves to play sports because she enjoys it and for the people around her. During USA Games Training Camp, Tina said her favorite athletes are “my three best friends.” Beyond the sports arena, Tina recognizes the benefits of being a Special Olympics athlete and what it has done for her since joining. Direct and to the point, Tina said Special Olympics has taught her what it means to “be healthy.”

Throughout the interview Tina was all smiles, which is a perfect illustration of her attitude as an athlete and teammate in Special Olympics. Tina is now excited to travel outside of California for the first time ever, and is looking forward to adding another medal to her already impressive collection.

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