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Special Olympics TCU named to 2021 ESPN Honor Roll, invited to attend USA games

Special Olympics TCU poses for a group photo at a team basketball practice. (Collin Pittmann/TCU360)

Senior finance major Thomas Lecy, the founder of Special Olympics TCU, helped grow the organization to gain national attention, including from ESPN.

The sports organization named the TCU chapter to its 2021 Honor Roll and invited the team to compete at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, a first for the program. The team will play intercollegiate basketball in Florida in June.

“There’s like 8,000 Unified Champion Schools in the nation,” Lecy said. “They chose 25 and so we’re one of two colleges who got that recognition.”

Lecy was involved in the organization at his high school. He realized how special and impactful it was and wanted to give that opportunity to others.

“I found out we didn’t have a club on campus here to get involved in and just felt like it was too powerful, too impactful, to kind of keep to myself and keep those experiences to myself,” Lecy said. “So, I just was like what the heck and just thought we should try and start one.”

Sophomore Kyle Swanholm, another club member, was also in the organization in high school and now serves as the club president at TCU.

Special Olympics TCU operates as one unified team, where people with and without disabilities play on the same teams and compete for the same reasons.

“We all just want to feel loved and supported and sports is kind of the best way to do that,” Lecy said.

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