Mackenzie Beauvais-Nikl is 18 years old and in her fifth year participating in Special Olympics. A student at Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver, she played volleyball and basketball on her high school teams. However she says she found her true inspiration for sports through Special Olympics, where she has participated in tennis, track, basketball, soccer, softball, snowboarding and cycling. She enjoys the social atmosphere of Special Olympics Colorado and has cultivated many friendships through the program.
Beauvais-Nikl returns for her second year with the Colorado Rapids Special Olympics Unified team. Last year, she was selected as a team captain while the team was at its away match in Seattle.
“I’m very competitive and I needed to keep myself and others in check,” she said. “I learned to be a team leader and to be supportive. I said to them: ‘Try it again, don’t give up and don’t walk away from it.’”
Her favorite Rapids player is Matt Pickens and was a fan of former Rapids players Conor Casey and Omar Cummings.