SHELBY COUNTY, Ky. — From a young age, Caitlin Roy knew sports would be a big part of her life.
“My family is really athletic and I’ve been around baseball fields all my life,” Roy said.
Even with odds stacked against her, Roy wasn’t letting anything stand in her way.
“When she was first diagnosed we were told she would never walk, talk or ride a bike,” Michaele Roy, Caitlin’s mom said. “Caitlin has epilepsy, she has low vision, she has optic atrophy, she has developmental delays, so she inspires us every day by beating the odds.”
Roy has since been involved with the Special Olympics for 16 years and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Roy started competing with the Louisville Flyers before moving to Shelby County, where her parents started their own delegation called the Shelby County Stars, where she plays basketball, track, football, softball and bowling year round. Caitlin also serves as an athlete ambassador for the Special Olympics and a unified partner with the University of Louisville.
After winning gold at the state level in the 200 and 400 meter dash in 2021, Caitlin qualified for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. Being among the two girls and two boys chosen out of a lottery that will compete for Team Kentucky.
“I hope to win gold again,” Caitlin said. “Just be ready to run and have a good time and cheer on my teammates.”
This isn’t Roy’s first rodeo. She competed at the national level in the 2018 USA Games in Seattle, where she won gold in the 200 meter dash and silver in the 100 meter dash.
“She has an attitude of ‘I’m not going to be defeated,’ she has an attitude of winning and she’s not going to let anything stop her from doing as well as she wants to do,” coach, William Green said.
For Roy, it’s more than just being on top of the podium.
“Teaches them the doctors can’t always be right,” Caitlin said. “So I can help other athletes, help them run, help them learn how to play the sports that we do.”
Her parents couldn’t be more proud.
“The person I was before Caitlin, is not the person I would ever want to be, she’s given me more than I could ever give her and it’s just a blessing to be a mother of a special Olympic athlete,” M. Roy said.
Caitlin Roy will run the 200 and 400 meter dash and the 4x1 meter relay at the USA Games in Orlando, Florida, on June 7 and 10.