KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Melissa Hylton from Kansas City, Kansas, was among six athletes to be inducted into the Special Olympics Kansas Hall of Fame this week. She has been a part of the Special Olympics for 33 years, participating in various sports such as basketball, bowling, softball and track and field.
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“I went to Welborn and I did it when I was little,” said Hylton. “I just like being around people and my friends.”
She says the key to success has been lots of hard work and consistent training.
Much of it has already paid off over the years. In 2007, she represented Team USA at the World Games in China.
“This is the medal that I got. This is the medal that I won in running long jump,” said Hylton. “I was proud of myself.”
Her success continues to know no bounds.
Surrounded by teammates and family at their social bowling event on Saturday afternoon, Hylton got her hands on a shiny new plaque with her name engraved. Hylton was nominated by her coach, Terra Morehead, who says she is a dedicated athlete and an even bigger cheerleader for her team.
“Her attitude and her support of others just really puts her above so many others,” said Morehead.
Morehead says Hylton’s inclination to help others go beyond practices, too.
“She’s not only active with Special Olympics, she does a lot of community activities. Not only with Civitan but her church, she works in the community,” said Morehead. “She really has been a great salesman for Special Olympics.”
Civitan Orchids is a special-needs ladies club that volunteers in the community. Hylton has served twice as club president.
With so much already accomplished, Hylton says this recognition will serve as motivation to become a better leader for others.