Cheers of encouragement rumbled the track and field at Billy Goodloe Stadium as Special Olympic student-athletes crossed the finish line, winded but winning.
Within the 400 competitors were Earl and Dominique Williams. Not only do they stand head-and-shoulders above most competitors, but the two are about as friendly as they come.
The two Waxahachie High School graduates participated in the sixth annual Nancy Spigener Special Olympics hosted April 3 by Red Oak ISD. The twins have regularly competed across the metroplex since they were 10 years old. And have certainly created a widespread reputation.
“Dominique and Earl have been doing special Olympics at least 20 years,” the boy’s coach and special education teacher at Waxahachie ISD, June Flowers explained. “They have amazing personalities; they are people persons. Every team knows them. Every time we go to the Olympics, teams are asking about them. They are loving boys, very sweet.”
The two 33-year-olds proudly represented Waxahachie. Even though they graduated in 2003, their Indian spirit exudes on the track.
“Just seeing them in Waxahachie, everybody knows them,” Flowers emphasized. “Anytime we go to a track meet, everybody knows them. They get along with everybody — now they do sometimes argue with each other, but for the most part, they are fun to be around.”
The two men are highly competitive, mainly against other districts but do see each other as their most significant competition. They are athletes at heart, playing sports year-round with track, basketball, and bowling. When they are on the court, usually one will play defense while the other on offense so they don’t steal each other’s spotlight.
“We don’t stop,” Earl affirmed.
They even requested to be interviewed separately.
Sitting in the stands at the noisy track meet, Earl and Dominique shared their passion for winning and getting to know the people around them.
What keeps Earl coming back to each track meet is the fulfillment of being an athlete.
“Every time we compete — I love to compete so I can bring back the medals to my hometown,” Earl emphasized.
Earl competed in his favorite event, the 100-meter walk, which he placed first, and the standing long jump, which he placed second.
When standing on the platform, receiving his medals, he recalled, “I was smiling. But I got hurt while I was standing long jump. I told them I twisted my knee, but in about 10 minutes it felt better. My twin came up to me and said I needed to compete."
Earl admitted that track was his favorite sport because, “I like to see everyone about, smiling and when I see people smile, it makes me want to smile.”
He said last year he participated in the 200-meter sprint and shared it was the toughest event he’s competed in. But, the challenges do not keep him from returning every year. Earl made it clear he does not have any intentions of ending his track career.
“I’m doing this because everybody loves to see me and my brother compete,” Earl elaborated. “All that matters is if we compete against the other teams. Some people may say I’m overweight, but it doesn’t matter. I see big dudes run!”
Earl’s other half, Dominique, waited patiently two rows down for his interview, cheering on competitors.
Dominique competed in the same events as his brother but medaled opposite with a gold medal in the 100-meter walk and silver in the standing long jump.
“I’m 33, and most people tell me I should retire. They tell me that I’m too good in track,” Dominique confidently said.
He bragged about the twins’ presence at all of the meets they attend, saying they are popular and practically famous.
“I like coming to compete every year just to have fun and enjoy each person that knows me here. The people, they be knowing me at every track meet we go to — like Red Oak, Lancaster, Wylie, Cedar Hill. You name it, people know us,” Dominique shared.
He recalled his favorite track meet in 2010 when he competed in the 100-meter dash in Waxahachie. Even though he hurt his knee, he admitted his goal is always to be the fastest twin.
He doesn’t allow his age or size get in the way because there’s only one thing on his mind, winning.
“Every time I come to Red Oak they try to beat me and achieve my goal. It never works,” he affirmed. “Dudes tell me to take it easy on the athletes. But I said, ‘no’ because I didn’t come here to lose, I came here to win.”
Special Olympics bring in students from all over the area to be recognized. Waxahachie’s Annual Special Olympics track meet will be held on Tuesday, April 17 at Lumpkin’s Stadium. There will be a pep rally held at the Waxahachie Ninth Grade Academy’s Solis Gym on Friday, April 13 to honor the district’s Special Olympic athletes.
At the end of the track season, the Waxahachie ISD will host a banquet at Ryan’s Steakhouse on May 4. Volunteers are still needed at the track meet and donations are much appreciated. For more information on volunteering opportunities and donations, contact June Flowers at 214-624-8215 or Margie Jeffcoat at 972-935-3018.
Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450