Posts Tagged ‘Nicole Becker’

CHS grad Nicole Becker and an athlete share a moment at the Special Olympics USA Games. (Photos courtesy Becker)

The love flows between Becker and the athletes.

Nicole Becker honors her sister every day.

The former Coupeville High School track star and cheerleader was always very close to older sis Victoria, who passed away in 2013.

Both before and after her sister’s passing, Nicole has been deeply involved in working with special needs athletes.

Victoria was a vital part of the Whidbey Island Special Olympics family, and Nicole, after studying Sports Management at Washington State University, has jumped full-bore into working with Special Olympics.

Becker’s passion and commitment were repaid recently, when she had the opportunity to be a part of the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle.

The 50th edition of the event, it ran from July 1-6, bringing more than 4,000 athletes and coaches to town.

Competing in 14 Olympic-style sports, the athletes, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, had the chance to shine in front of tens of thousands of fans.

Becker was part of the staff for Team Washington, which ruled the awards stands, and she recounts for us what the event meant to her:

Twelve days ago, I walked into Husky Stadium to sit in the field of over 4,600 amazing athletes of their sport.

Basketball, bocce, bowling, golf, track and field, swimming, soccer, unified gaming, powerlifting, softball, volleyball, flag football and for the first year ever, stand up paddle boarding.

4,600 athletes in the room, my breath was taken from me.

I was overwhelmed and so incredibly humbled to have been able to share such an experience with Team Washington.

Team Washington over the past six months has become my baby. I lived and breathed this team to make sure everything was perfect.

The uniform sizing, the ordering of the uniforms, the last minute ordering of different sizing. Huge thank you to Ink Inc for getting that all done in time.

But a huge thank you to Team Washington, who went out on their playing fields and brought home 39 gold medals. Which is more than any other state can say.

I have a much better understanding of why I do what I do now, and much more joy in my life due to the 17,500 athletes we have in Washington.

There is nothing more rewarding then walking into Husky Stadium holding an athlete’s hand, not because she’s afraid and needs you to hold her hand, but it is the genuine reason — because we’re best friends.

In that very moment of walking in and seeing my mom and dad, I knew I had made it; I knew that my sister was not only proud of me but was walking in with me.

The long days and the long nights seem like a blur now, but the laughter and the fun and the pure joy that was created throughout the week will last for a lifetime.

Tim Shriver said it best, “Where others see division, show them love.”

Special Olympics Washington has shown me so much love, and I can’t wait to pour that love right on back!

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Bursting with spirit are (l to r) Nicole Becker, Lucas Etzell and Jai'Lysa Hoskins.

Bursting with spirit are (l to r) Nicole Becker, Lucas Etzell and Jai’Lysa Hoskins.

Loud 'n proud.

Loud ‘n proud.

"Ooh, when I get off this bench, I'm coming for you all!!"

“Ooh, when I get off this bench, I’m coming for you all!!”

Sweetest smile, nastiest elbows in the biz.

Jai’Lysa Hoskins was born to be a cheerleader. Bright, personable, friendly, outgoing, full of spirit, with a laugh that could be heard across the gym.

But she was also a tough-as-nails competitor on the basketball court and track oval.

Blessed with lightning bolt speed, Hoskins helped Coupeville High School’s relay teams blitz to state medal-worthy times.

When it came to hit the hard-court, she laid down the wrath of her elbows on anyone stupid enough to get between her and a rebound.

Jai’Lysa would always pick up her opponents after they hit the ground, but she would make sure they often found that floor first.

You DID NOT try and take the ball away from her.

As the former Wolf great, one of the most joyful of CHS alumni, celebrates her 19th birthday today, we send Jai best wishes and turn to her close friend, Nicole Becker, for a few words on what Miss Hoskins means to her:

Today happens to be my best friend’s, partner in crime, jelly to my toast, milk to my cereal, laces to my shoes, my sister’s birthday.

17 years ago I was blessed to have her come into my life and amazingly today she’s stuck it out with me.

19 years ago you appeared in this world and have changed lives little by little.

Jai, I am so excited for what this year of life has in store for you and I love you ’til death do us part.

You’re my person. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Now let’s have fun!!

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