FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — When Ghree Lockard started competing in Special Olympics six years ago, she fell in love with the organization for the same reason many people love it: inclusivity.
“When you’re in competition, you don’t look at what they can’t do and what they’re doing wrong,” Lockard said. “You look at what they’re doing right and what they can do.”
Bocce quickly became a favorite for the multi-sport athlete, but Lockard never imagined where it would take her.
“I have cerebral palsy, so a lot of this stuff, I didn’t think I could do,” she said. “It’s a challenge to keep myself moving and active.”
This weekend, Lockard will head to New Jersey to represent North Carolina in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. She was selected after bringing home the gold at state, but it still came as a surprise.
“When I found out, everyone was talking so I didn’t hear it all the way,” Lockard explains. “I heard them calling my name and I said, ‘Wait a minute, what did they say? Why is everybody clapping?’”
Ghree is one of 45 athletes who make up Team North Carolina and the only athlete going from Forsyth County.
As if going to the USA Games isn’t a big enough deal, this will be the farthest Ghree’s been from home and her first time on an airplane.
Lockard admits there is a certain amount of pressure, but she’s mostly just excited.
“I don’t think of it as winning or losing. I tried my best, I did my best at the game, whoever wins whoever loses, it’s okay” Lockard said.
The Special Olympics USA Games will be held in New Jersey June 14-21.
If you would like to contribute financially to Lockard’s trip, visit: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/GhreeLockard/teamNC