USA Games Athlete Spotlight: Kaitlyn Tsue Ready to Make a Statement at USA Games

By Melanie Barrios 

For Kaitlyn Tsue, competing at USA Games is not about winning (although winning is a perk). It is about showing people that athletes with intellectual disabilities can do anything! Kaitlyn has been a Special Olympics Southern California athlete since 2019 and has competed in different states over the years. Her favorite part of competing is making more friends and having fun! 

Kaitlyn likes to shy away from using the term “intellectual disabilities” and instead, she likes to use “unique abilities,” spinning a more positive view of the term. Being part of Special Olympics has given Kaitlyn a place of belonging. She enjoys playing tennis because she was never given the chance to participate in sports due to her unique abilities, but now she is not excluded because of them. “I really enjoy playing tennis for Special Olympics,” Kaitlyn says. “We are more connected with our unique abilities.” 

Kaitlyn is competing for the first time at USA Games this year, representing Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC). It is a great honor for her as she did not believe an opportunity like this would happen. Now that she is competing at the Games, Kaitlyn is not letting the stress or pressure get to her. Regardless of the outcome, she is on a mission to prove to those who excluded her when she was younger that she is a fierce competitor and skilled athlete. “I want to show the people that everyone can still play, and I want to enjoy the time at USA Games. I always like being positive,” Kaitlyn added. 

Kaitlyn is getting herself in tip-top shape by practicing tennis 3 to 5 times a week and coaching during her off time. Being a certified tennis coach gives her the ability to expand on her tennis skills and train tennis players in wheelchairs and players who have autism. SOSC has helped make Kaitlyn feel more connected with people who might have felt excluded in their own right. She is ecstatic to represent Special Olympics and tennis at the USA Games, but more importantly, to be a positive influence for those with unique abilities. 

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