TAFT, Texas — Leann Rubio has been a Special Olympics athlete in Taft for the last five years. Rubio competes in basketball, tennis, track and field, and bowling.
The last two state bowling competitions (2019 and 2020), Rubio finished with a bronze and silver medal, respectively.
“I love bowling because I knock the pins down,” she said.
Rubio has plenty more medals across the other sports as well.
“Leann is the epitome of just an all-around good student athlete,” said Debbi Foeh, Rubio’s coach. “She can come in, and it can be the worst day ever, but she’ll have a smile on her face. She’s going to give you 110%, and she’s going to be happy whether she comes in last place or first place. She cheers on her teammates and other teams.”
Rubio always brings that positivity and cheerfulness to competitions.
“I play with my teammates, and I cheer for them,” she said.
“(At state bowling) She was there cheering for all the other teams that she didn’t even know, and high fives and hugs all around,” Foeh said.
On Saturday, Rubio will compete against athletes from across the Coastal Bend in the Special Olympics of Texas Area 2 Spring Games.
Rubio will compete in the javelin, and looks forward to competing locally.
“My friends and family come and cheer for me,” she said.
She also predicts the Taft team will do well.
“We’re going to beat those other schools other schools. We’re going to beat them,” Rubio said.
Foeh encourages anyone in the area to come to the competition to support the athletes.
“Nothing makes them happier than whenever they see a huge crowd cheering,” she said. “They don’t care if they’re cheering for their team, or all the teams, just come out and support, and bring a little joy to these children’s lives.”
Rubio will also be one of the carriers of the Olympic torch on Saturday.
Events for the day start at 8:30 a.m.