WAUSAU (WAOW) - For 25 years, a Wausau man has volunteered for Wausau Metro Area Special Olympics, a group that provides year-round sports training for athletes with disabilities.
For that dedication, Arnie Heil received the September Jefferson Award.
"You get a good feeling out of doing this. I always say when you get involved you make new friends and when you miss a day it doesn't feel right," Heil said.
Heil, now retired, remembered how it all began.
"My son was involved in Special Olympics when he was eight years old and they needed someone to help the coach and go to state tournaments," Heil said.
His volunteer duties even involve driving the bus.
Athlete Yee Xiong nominated Heil for the Jefferson Award. calling the coach an inspiration.
"He is my role model. I look up to him. It doesn't matter if you win or lose as long as you do your best," Xiong said.
That lesson is powerful on the athletic field - and in life, says the coach.
"Everyone wants to win. You got to learn to lose too," Heil said. "Winning isn't everything. It's important that you have fun while you are playing and having fun is what counts."
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