March 24, 2016 | Updated: January 29, 2019

By Dasia Warner

Heather Handley hit the ground running with Special Olympics Texas 10 years ago when her high school coach introduced the program to her. Now at 24 years old, she is still going strong with the Amarillo Golfers.

Heather is very involved, as she participates in basketball, bowling, volleyball, swimming, flag football and golf. Her mother Debbie Handley is also involved as a SOTX coach.

Within only three years of competing with SOTX, Heather was named the organization’s Athlete of the Year and was trained to give public speeches as a Global Messenger.

Heather likes things that many other girls her age do, like watching High School Musical, listening to One Direction and visiting her grandma. Her favorite people include her golf coach Gary Ybarra and her father Mike Handley.

She says that the best advice she has received is to work hard.

Heather is an outgoing people person who loves to socialize. When she is not competing, she is working at the United Supermarket or volunteering with her church.

After 10 years of competing with SOTX, Heather says that the experience has been very impactful in helping her blossom.  As a competitor, she always remembers to do her best and have fun. 

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