Tooele High Unified Soccer Team kicks off 2022 Special Olympics USA Games

Jun 7, 2022, 1:38 PM | Updated: 7:29 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. — Competition began Monday morning in Florida for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. Two teams and several individuals from Utah are involved in them, including the Tooele High School Unified Soccer Team.

“Who are we? Utah!”

If pregame speeches truly fire up a team, nobody would want to face the Tooele High School Unified Soccer Team.

They play well together on the field because they are close friends off the pitch.

“We all get along. We all support each other,” said Zoe Holmes.

And that’s the whole idea behind the Special Olympics — building teamwork, trust and, for Zoe Holmes, confidence.

β€œI don’t think I would have shot that if I didn’t have the confidence,” Zoe said.

You see, Tooele was down 1-0 at halftime. But they never gave up and came back thanks to a goal by Holmes.

It was her first goal ever.

Even she admits, she wasn’t sure what to do after scoring.

“Like, it was so surprising,” Zoe said. β€œI just stood there in shock, like, did I just score that?”

Talk about a confidence builder, scoring a goal in the Special Olympics USA Games to help your team.

“Great teammate. Love her to death,” said teammate Nate Olcott.

The game ended in a 2-2 tie, but everyone here will tell you the final score doesn’t matter.

“My kids are already victorious,” said Tooele Unified Soccer coach Mathew Womack. β€œThey’ve already won, they’ve already seized the moment. Everything else is just a cherry on top.”

What’s most important are the little moments like Zoe’s first goal and having all your friends there.

“This is going to be a good memory to have in the future,” Zoe said.

These first few days are pool play round robin type matches, so they can end in a tie — further proof the Special Olympics aren’t all about winning or losing but about giving your best and not really worrying about the scoreboard.

Tonight, Utah can be proud this Tooele team did that.

(Alex Cabrero/KSL TV) (Alex Cabrero/KSL TV) (Alex Cabrero/KSL TV) (Alex Cabrero/KSL TV) (Alex Cabrero/KSL TV) (Alex Cabrero/KSL TV)

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Tooele High Unified Soccer Team kicks off 2022 Special Olympics USA Games