Track, soccer, swimming, basketball, bowling. Name a sport and Troy Marsh has probably enjoyed it and been good at it. “I’ve always liked being active, and being part of a team,” says the 28-year-old Kaiser Permanente member, who is excited about competing in flag football at the 2018 USA Games.
Troy has been active in Special Olympics since he was 8, and has been playing and loving flag football for about 3 years now. “Our team is like a big family,” he says. “We encourage each other and have each other’s back. We never go off the field with grudges.”
Troy spends at least 4 hours a week practicing with his team, and he also stays fit by going on runs with his family’s dogs, a St. Bernard and a St. Bernard/Wolfhound. “They’re big dogs and they run fast, but I have more endurance,” he says. His other interests include Young Life Capernaum, a spiritual group for teens with special needs. He’s one of the leaders of his group, and he’s also active in his church.
Staying fit and on the go helps Troy manage his autism. “I’m in pain a lot, but I don’t focus on it,” he says. “Sometimes when I’ve had a bad day it’s hard to go to football practice. But once I get there I forget about my problems and I’m happy again.”
Troy is hoping his team will win at the 2018 USA Games and go to the World Games next year. “I think we have a good chance at it,” he says, “but I know we’ve got to win one game at a time.”