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Valley athletes to compete in 2025 Special Olympics in Italy

Valley athletes to compete in 2025 Special Olympics in Italy
6 months 1 week 4 days ago Wednesday, December 13 2023 Dec 13, 2023 December 13, 2023 4:32 PM December 13, 2023 in News - Local

Across the Rio Grande Valley are many adult daycares, but at Morning Star Adult Daycare in Pharr, the crowd is different.

They're younger and more active and for one of them, three years of practice has finally paid off.

Liz Salinas is going to Italy to compete in the Special Olympics.

"It was very exciting. It was totally a surprise," Salinas said.

More than three years ago, Salinas decided to pour more of herself into Floorball where she plays as a goalie.

Her coach, Maria Luisa Trinidad, a University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Kinesiology professor, is also going to represent the U.S.A. in the international tournament in 2025, along with two other special needs players in Mercedes,

Salinas says she suffers from seizures, bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression.

She's tried many things over the years to keep her mind busy and give herself purpose. She wasn't physically active before, but starting her journey as an athlete, at 40 years old, has done a lot.

"It's very different now from where I used to be," Salinas said. "The games have kept me so busy that I don't have time to even think about my depression or anxiety. It's helped me a lot with my seizures."

Through practicing hard and developing a new passion for sports as an adult, Salinas is facing the issues that used to challenge her.

For someone who says crowds make her anxious, a tournament in Italy will be a new step.

"Anxious, but yes, it's going to be a new experience," Salinas said.

Salinas and her teammates now have more practice ahead to represent the United States in 2025.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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