Whether Andrew Fowler is speed walking in a 50-meter race or a 100-meter race, he’s fast. Really fast. And he flies far in the standing long jump, too. He’ll be competing in those 3 events at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, where he hopes to win gold medals and move on to his next big dream.
“I won a gold medal at my first Special Olympics track meet 8 years ago, and I haven’t been beat once since then,” says the Kaiser Permanente member. Andrew also participates in softball, basketball, soccer, and flag football.
“I was born 3 months premature and I’m lucky to be alive,” he says. “But I do have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and emphysema.” Special Olympics helps Andrew stay his healthiest by encouraging him to eat right and get plenty of exercise. “I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water. And I’ve walked 13,101 steps today,” he says after consulting his activity-tracking wristband.
Andrew’s speediness and skill extend to his job. He’s worked as a courtesy clerk and stocker at Fred Meyer for 10 years, and he’s been nominated to compete in an upcoming bagging competition. “You have to be really quick, and not squash anything,” he says. In his free time, he likes to hang out with friends and go bowling or to the movies.
Andrew is eager to make new friends, have fun, and win at the USA Games this summer. It’s the next step toward his biggest dream: to qualify for the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.