North Texas

#SomethingGood: North Texas Cheerleaders Win Gold at Special Olympics

This year, Special Olympics Texas held its first State Cheer Championship and Liberty Cheer from Midlothian won gold Medals.

"It’s hard for me to not cry, because I’m so excited to see all the things my child has learned," Beth Lopez of Red Oak said.

Lopez’s 26-year-old daughter, Catherine, is one of the cheerleaders on the medal-winning team.

"When Catherine was born, there was a list of things she would not be able to do," Lopez said. "And year by year, we’ve thrown those out the window. And cheer is a big part of that."

That same spirit is part of the reason the team was formed 11 years ago.

"There’s a lot of places where people like my daughter are told no. You don’t belong here – we can’t work with you – you don’t fit here," Coach Crystal Wells said. "There’s a lot of that her whole life and this place is not one of those places."

Each year, 20-30 cheerleaders learn skills as a part of the team. The team consists of cheerleaders of different abilities.

"We have a brand new athlete with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair – there is plenty for her to do," Wells said.

The team also has traditional athletes like Erik Aguayo, 15.

"I’m one of the helpers, so I basically guide them and I encourage them and push them to where they want to succeed," Aguayo said. "They should get the spotlight. They don’t always get it. They should get it at least once and a while and they do here."

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