South Bend man to represent Indiana for 2018 Special Olympics


A local man isn't letting his disability stop him from achieving his dreams.

He's a swimmer and will be competing in the 2018 Special Olympics. This isn't his first.

Joe Grooms has been participating for 18 years! The games bring 3,500 athletes to Seattle to compete in a variety of sports. He'll be representing Team Indiana.

"It's almost feels like I’m flying but I’m actually swimming,” said Grooms.

Grooms is on the autism spectrum and has a learning disability and a communication disability-- but that doesn't slow him down.

"Get used to it I guess. I just get through obstacles in life and just press on,” he said.

He was selected as one of six swimmers from the state to represent Team Indiana. To qualify you have to win at least one gold medal at State Games. You're then randomly selected.

"Pretty exciting. That seems kind of scary to having to compete do all this big stuff,” he said.

Grooms has been participating in the Special Olympics for 18 years and has been swimming for most of them.

But ever since he jumped in the water as a kid, it’s been game on.

"Just get over it, fear or not, it's just something you have to do,” he said.

His favorite stroke is the fly.

The Special Olympics are scheduled for July of 2018 in Seattle, Washington.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off