Written by Eric Frohlick, Senior Manager, Intel IT Legal & Corporate Affairs
Note: Eric was contacted by Special Olympics Colorado to offer a fan's perspective of the SOCO Unified Team
I read John Meyer’s article on DenverPost.com covering the Rapids Special Olympics team and was moved by the story and a connection I have to the team’s star forward, Mackenzie Beauvais-Nikl, who is a student at Thomas Jefferson High School where I graduated in 1990. I hoped to meet Mackenzie and the rest of the team during their visit to Portland and cheer them on in their match against the Timbers.
As luck would have it, the team sat about 10 rows behind me at Rapids-Timbers MLS match and at half-time I introduced myself to the team, got to meet Mackenzie, and let them know I was a big fan. It was a special moment to see all of their smiles. The following day, my 12 year old son Matthew, who is a goalkeeper for a regional Timbers Olympic development team, and I came to watch and cheer for the team in their match against Portland. We had a great time cheering on Mackenzie and the rest of the players during a downpour.
All of the players were fantastic and now Ibsen, who scored a hat trick for Colorado, is Matthew’s favorite player. In fact, Matthew named a new pair of Adidas shoes “The Ibsens” in his honor. I hope our presence gave the players a sense of joy and support.
The Rapids and KSE deserve to be recognized for their sponsorship of the program and both Matt Pickens and Chris Klute deserve special recognition for their support of the kids and on-field coaching during the match giving the team the encouragement and confidence to have fun and be successful.