GRANDVIEW, WA - The 2019 Special Olympic World Summer Games was a multi-sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities in the tradition of the Special Olympics movement. The games were held in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, from March 14th through the 21st.
The Special Olympics is the biggest and largest sporting event around the world of its kind.
17 year old, Joel Granados, was scouted for the Special Olympics Unified Soccer team at the state tournament he was competing last spring.
Granados was recruited by a coach from Seattle University, who also happens to coach for the world games.
Granados was invited to try out for the United States team in late July in Seattle.
His coach at Grandview High, Jennifer Mason, said, "He is just a humble young man that I am so grateful he got this opportunity especially coming from Grandview because not always people know where Grandview is."
Granados made it to the try-outs, and he had to do some drills including passing, running and even a scrimmage game. He was selected for the team and had the opportunity to participate in a week-long soccer camp in Delaware.
Granados is one of Special Olympics Washington’s top soccer players.
The United States Soccer team placed third at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi.
Granados was able to score a goal in the first match of the tournament.
"It was a great experience. I got to learn a lot from the coaches and the people with us," said Granados.
Now Granados is playing for the high school's varsity team looking to achieve yet another trophy.