Derek “Tank” Schottle (Sugar Land) is getting ready to go for the gold at the 2016 Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) Winter Games, a statewide competition in Bowling, Powerlifting and Volleyball, being held in Austin fromFeb. 5-7 for more than 2,500 athletes from across Texas.
Schottle, a member of the Fort Bend Arc team, has become a role model for Special Olympics athletes because of his commitment to fitness and sportsmanship, and for his love of life.
Through his involvement with SOTX, Tank began a lifestyle change in October 2014, increasing his exercise and eating a healthier diet, resulting in an 83-pound weight loss.
For the past 15 months, he has shared his challenges on this journey with his Facebook friends. His “wall” is a monument to encouraging others to not give up as he documents his extensive involvement in Special Olympics sports and how his fitness journey has improved his life and his performance.
Schottle’s Facebook followers acknowledge what an inspiration he has been to them to not give up on their dreams, and to keep fighting. He treats his Special Olympics teammates the same way, providing constant encouragement and leading by example.
Last year in his first season playing in the SOTX statewide Volleyball competition and after shedding 73 pounds, Schottle and his Lamar ISD teammates claimed second place in the championship match.
“It was a lot of hard work to get that far and I am bless for that,” Schottle said. “Losing the weight has really paid off,” Schottle said. “I work out every day, I love to play sports, I do my best, I look great and I feel a lot healthy now.”
All SOTX Winter Games events are free and open to the public. Volunteers are still needed. For more information, visit www.sotx.org/wintergames.
About Special Olympics Texas
Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect. SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 54,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. To learn more, visitwww.specialolympicstexas.org or call 800.876.5646. Engage with us on: Twitter @SOTexas; fb.com/SpecialOlympicsTX; youtube.com/specialolympicstexas.
Statewide Year-Round Co-Sponsors: