Local man training for Special Olympics World Games

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Just about every day, you'll find Maurice Watts at Gold's Gym in High Point. He's getting ready to compete in the Special Olympics World Games in Austria next month.

“I’m really excited about it,” Maurice said. “Going to the gym, getting loose, working out.”

A natural athlete, there are few sports Maurice hasn't tried and mastered, but one in particular really clicked: alpine skiing.

“First time I did it, it was really cold and snowing really bad, so I was pretty nervous,” Maurice said. “I fell a couple of times, but after that I got used to it.”

And it's Alpine skiing that's taking him to Austria where he'll represent not only the Piedmont Triad, but the entire USA.

His proud mom, Pamela Watts, says Special Olympics has been Maurice's life for 22 years.

“Year-round, he's participating in Special Olympics, that’s what he does,” Pamela said. “He works and goes to practice and goes to the majority of the events, like the dances.”

Thanks to fundraisers like this weekend's Triad Chill Polar Plunge at Wet'n Wild Emerald Pointe, nearly 40,000 athletes across North Carolina participate in Special Olympics programs and activities each year at no cost to them.

"Special Olympics has really broadened his horizons, he's much more outgoing,” Pamela said. “It’s helped him to be more independent, groom him as a young man.”

And that is priceless.

To register for Saturday’s Triad Chill Polar Plunge, or to make a donation, visit triadchill.com.