After competing in the 2018 Special Olympics – USA Games Seattle, Ashton Smith summed up the driving qualities of what makes a true competitor. A member of Team Texas, Smith took gold in the 100-meter butterfly high-performance division. Following her event, ESPN asked Smith how she prepares for her races and keeps motivated. Responding with “you’ve got to keep it moving and keep it cooking,” Smith clearly defined what makes her a standout star in the swimming community – in one 82 second interview, she encapsulates basically everything that the sport of swimming stands for.
"No matter what disability you have, you don't let society dictate what you can not do."
Special Olympics athlete Ashton Smith is the motivation you didn't know you needed today. pic.twitter.com/MOKFgvneKg
— espnW (@espnW) July 5, 2018
A Hero For All
Smith, who also plays football, continued her interview with a mindset that “no matter what disability you have, you don’t let society dictate what you cannot do.” Smith is motivated by her desire to change the drowning statistics in her home state of Texas, particularly in the African American community. With a nod to the importance of learning to swim, Smith said everyone “should be able to do this.”
50th Anniversary of the Special Olympics
The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games were held in Seattle, Washington July 1-6, 2018. More than 4,000 athletes and coaches representing 50 state programs and the District of Columbia, along with the support of tens of thousands of volunteers and spectators, competed in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports. The Special Olympics is celebrating its 50th year of showcasing the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities and the impact of Special Olympics through world-class competition, inspirational experiences, and modeling inclusion for all.