Kyle Wilson and Omaries Rivera-Perez are in rare company, as they are the only two Hillsborough County athletes that qualified for the quadrennial Special Olympics USA Games.
Wilson and River-Perez train under Coach Mark Oliver and his Specially Fit organization that offers free Special Olympics training at BayCare HealthHub in Bloomingdale.
Oliver, a personal trainer, launched the Specially Fit Foundation, a nonprofit organization that serves over 400 individuals with developmental disabilities by providing fitness classes, year-round workouts, training, nutrition coaching, mentorship, Special Olympics training and group home access.
Wilson and Rivera-Perez were told the news by Nike athlete Justin Gallegos over Zoom. Gallegos, who has cerebral palsy, won gold in the 400-meter race in the Paralympics-Ambulatory division at the California State Track & Field Championships in 2016.
“Both of these athletes are very deserving of this opportunity, and our entire coaching staff is honored to be a small part of their success,” said Oliver. “We can’t wait to watch them compete on the large stage.”
Wilson, age 14, is thrilled to be a part of the competition and will be participating in the 100-meter run and shot put.
“I feel amazed and proud of myself that I’m the one chosen,” said Wilson. “I am excited to represent Florida and my Specially Fit team.”
His teammate, Rivera-Perez, who won gold medals in the shot put, 400-meter run and 4×100-meter relay in the local competition, will be participating in the 400-meter run and shot put in the Special Olympics USA Games.
“I am very excited to continue to compete and reach my goals,” she said. “I have been training very hard for this opportunity, and I am thankful for all of my coaches.”
The competition is from June 5-12, 2022 in Orlando. The Special Olympic USA Games will unite more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states, as well as the Caribbean, and house 125,000 spectators during one of the county’s most cherished sporting events.