By Cesar Fernandez
For Faith Demos golf is not just a sport, it is a family affair. She grew up watching her father play, an avid golfer since the age of 9. Now, she gets to take her family to new heights by competing against the world.
She is one of six athletes from Special Olympics Southern California chosen to compete next week at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. The thought of competing, with the Games spotlighted by ESPN, only adds another level of excitement.
“I’ve never been on cameras before so I’m excited. It’s very nice, very awesome. Very cool,” Faith said.
For her, attending the World Games is no ordinary feat but she is ready for the challenge. This will be her first time traveling alone and only her second time traveling outside the country.
“It’s going to be an exciting trip,” Faith said. “Looking forward to it.”
Faith has been a Special Olympics athlete for over 17 years. She most recently competed in the 2018 Special Olympics Southern California Fall Games, winning a silver medal in golf. For her, the golf course is where she feels at home. She enjoys “swinging the club and being out in the open air.”
But it doesn’t end there. She also is grateful that her parents started the Special Olympics golf program in her Torrance community. Special Olympics has been life changing to her development and because of the doors it has opened, she said.
“It’s [given me] better traits, better attributes. Made me more friends. Given me love in the heart,” Faith said.
“[It’s given] me just a lot of chances to do stuff and compete, and given me a lot of chances to be able to have more friendships and just do different sports.”
Some say she has received the gift of community. However, as a self-proclaimed “people person,” Faith plans to give back to the community that has given her so much – including achieving her longtime goal of becoming a Global Messenger to raise awareness about Special Olympics Southern California.
When Faith is not competing, she works as a social vocational service employee at her local golf course. In her free time, she enjoys walking and swimming to stay fit, playing online poker, and spending time with her husband, David.