SOUTH WALTON COUNTY, FL (WJHG/WECP) - A pair of South Walton athletes are getting set to make their way to the National Special Olympics in Seattle, Washington.
One of those athletes is Hutch Weeks, a standup paddle boarder who was taught locally by the folks at the South Walton YOLO series.
He's done it well enough to earn a spot at Nationals, and will leave for Seattle later this week, with the competition there set for next week.
"I'm kind of sort of happy, excited I was chosen," Hutch Weeks, National Special Olympian said. "I would not be here without Nancy and the coaches. I'm excited and nervous but that's ok."
"He is a workhorse, he's a hard charger, he gets after it," Ryan Marcell, Hutch's stand up paddle board coach said. "He's very excited to get where he's going, to continue to further the sport. You know especially with stand up paddling being a new sport in the Special Olympics at the Nationals level. We're very excited for him to be able to go and get this opportunity. He's very excited for it, and working very hard on it."
Hutch is joined by his fellow South Walton Special Olympian, weightlifter Greg Floyd. Floyd says he has been lifting for nearly 20 years, and like Hutch, is excited to be chosen to compete on the national level. He says however, the credit for making it to Nationals must be shared.
"It takes a lot of coaching, especially to me" Greg told us.."Because when a coach is on you and says Greg you've got to do this, you got to do this, you've got to work real hard. And you can't be playing with it. It's not a game, you drop those weights on you and you're going to get hurt."
Hutch and Greg will be heading south to Orlando Thursday to meet up with other Floridians heading to the games, and will fly west together as a team Friday. The opening ceremonies for the Games set for Sunday at Husky Stadium.