The 2020 Special Olympics Summer Games were canceled due to COVID-19. Athletes are understandably disappointed, but many are keeping a positive outlook with their sights set on 2021.
Kobe Olmeda is a 17-year old in Dade City, Florida. Yes, he is named after Kobe Bryant. And just like Bryant, this Kobe is a winner. While participating in the Wesley Chapel Special Olympics over the years, Olmeda has earned several first-place medals. He does it all, too. Olmeda is on the bowling team, the cycling team, and of course, the basketball squad.
Olmeda qualifies for Special Olympics because he has Autism. He wins because he has an amazing mother and he emulates the most lethal of sports legends. On the court and at home, Kobe likes to be like Kobe.
Basketball is his favorite. He enjoys playing NBA 2K, and he uses the video game version of Bryant to beat his brother. Then he translates that plan on to the actual court to best many an opponent. His mom, Diana has been with her Kobe throughout his Olympic journey, driving him to many of the events. Otherwise, Olmeda is transported by bus with his peers, and he loves every minute of it.
Clearly, missing the 2020 games is a big blow. “I’m very disappointed about events being canceled,” Olmeda told Breitbart Sports. “I love the Olympics because it is fun and I get to participate in sports.”
Although this year’s games are scrapped, the boy named after the Black Mamba is ready to strike next time around. “He will participate as long as he wants to,” said his mom, Diana. “Special Olympics is wonderful because Kobe can feel a sense of accomplishment and inclusion.”
That’s exactly why these events are so sorely missed. Kids benefit from well-run sports programs. Special Olympics will be back, however, and that is something for all of us to look forward to. As for Kobe Olmeda, he’ll be back too. Fueled by his hero, Kobe Bryant and by his loving family, more gold could very well be in his future.
Follow Kevin Scholla on Twitter @kevinscholla