Little Rock, Arkansas -
LITTLE ROCK, AR - In Arkansas there are nearly 14 thousand Olympic athletes. Three hundred of them competed in the recent Winter Olympic games.
There's one special sportsman whose oath is "let me win - but if I cannot win - let me brave in the attempt."
There's a winter olympic sport with no ice and no snow whose athletes don't use skis.
"My name is Taylor, and I'm from Little Rock, and I play floor hockey," says Taylor Bowman, 17.
It's a sport of sticks and pucks and a sport Taylor has fallen for.
"I love it a lot," he says.
In just 2 seasons, Taylor has become more than just a solid player. This Joe T. Robinson High School student is developing into a team captain. The other athletes on the floor look to him.
"I love it a lot and plus I get to play with all my friends pretty much, get to play different positions, and basically hang out with them," Taylor says.
It's a leadership quality that comes through with each and every play. Despite the thrill of a goal, these Olympians are gaining much more than simply gold.
"Friendship. Simple. At the end of the day we are still going to be a team, and we are still going to be friends," Taylor says. "It means a lot to me, making a lot of friends, playing for fun, just have a lot of athletes with you. It doesn't matter whether we win or lose, we are going to build our friendship and character, that's it."
The highs and lows of competition help Special Olympians like Taylor in building bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood with every play.
Taylor and his team competed in Special Olympics Arkansas' Winter Olympic games. Taylor now will turn his attention to the next Special Olympics sport in line. This fall he will play his favorite - flag football.