Johs brings international success to the Special Olympics

Any coach will tell you it takes talented players to win games. Special Olympics Athlete Dave Johs definitely fits that mold. Dave has the international success to prove it.

Dave Johs has been competing in the Special Olympics for 30 years. He’s 45 years old and is excited to make new friends this weekend.

“It’s good to get other kids to come compete,” Johs said, “and meet new friends.”

Dave said he plays seven sports, including cross county skiing. Dave excelled on the slopes and took second place in the cross country 1K freestyle race for the M13 division at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.

Like any other athlete, Dave put in many hours perfecting his craft.

“It feels real good to put a lot of hard work in,” Johs said. “My coach that’s over there refereeing the ballgame, he made me work hard.”

And after his silver-medal performance, he was glad one special person got to see his success.

“My mom is proud of me,” Johs said. “She’s in heaven watching me up there. My other family too. My brothers are proud of me too.”

Some of the other sports Dave competes in are bowling, bocce and basketball. So what’s his favorite.

“Basketball,” Johs said. “Softball’s good too.”

Dave will play right field over the weekend. He takes joy in the simple things the diamond offers.

“I like running the bases,” Johs said, “and hitting the ball. Going after the ball and running after it when it’s hit towards me.”

For all Dave’s achievements, he says there’s one common factor.

“Bring my good attitude,” Johs said. “Instead of bad.”

Teams arrived Aug. 16 for the North America Special Olympics Softball Tournament Championship. The games begin Aug. 17.

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