Matt Montgomery is 2017 Outstanding Athlete

posted Mon, Sep 18, 2017 by Jon Buzby

Matt Montgomery has spent the past two decades honing his skills competing in a variety of sports through Special Olympics. From his start with the Mary Campbell Center Youth program through his current participation with the Wilmington Wizards, Special Olympics has enhanced Matt’s life in ways he never thought possible.

“I’ve always had a passion for sports,” he explained. “Through the Mary Campbell Center and Special Olympics Delaware, I was given a chance to participate and excel in something I love rather than just watching from a sideline.”

Matt has spent the better part of the last several years expanding his roles in the organization beyond the sideline. Matt delivers speeches about how much Special Olympics means to him. He raises money at fundraisers and volunteers at them when he’s not participating. And through his role on the Athlete Input Council, Matt even helps make sure his fellow athletes’ voices are heard.

Matt’s deep-rooted involvement in the organization has earned him the honor of being named the 2017 Special Olympics Delaware Outstanding athlete.

“It feels so awesome,” Matt said of the honor. “It’s one of the greatest feelings ever. I’ve worked and trained hard, and I’ve been very fortunate to be able to take advantage of the many programs SODE has to offer. To have others see all that I have accomplished and honor me in such a special way, means the world to me.”

Matt currently competes in flag football, bowling, basketball and swimming.

“I really don't know which is my favorite,” he admitted. “I enjoy all sports because of the excitement and challenges. I also enjoy competing with all of my friends.”

Matt serves on the athlete input council for the Wilmington Wizards, where he has a chance to make sure not only his voice, but those of his peers, are heard in regards to matters relating to Special Olympics. He also volunteers at several events throughout the year, most notably the Truck Convoy, Breakfast of Champions, Red Robin Tip-A-Cop and Over the Edge. And he’s a Polar Bear. Last year Matt raised nearly $1,000 plunging in the frigid ocean.

Matt was recently named the Special Olympics Delaware Honorary Ambassador to the New Castle County Fire Fighter’s Association. In that role he attends meetings and events at various fire companies across the county, and even gets to ride along in parades. Matt works as the official “mixer” at Waggies by Maggie and Friends and also volunteers at Hagley Museum and Library.

All of these accomplishments and opportunities were made possible in part due to his involvement with Special Olympics Delaware.

“Special Olympics means everything to me,” Matt said. “It’s about making friends. It’s about being accepted for who I am. It’s about opportunity. And most of all, it’s about being able to train and compete year-round in so many different sports and activities.”