Special Olympics athlete Jacob Babcock soars, inspires others


    World class athletes inspire Special Olympics athlete, who now inspires others<p>{/p}

    Brockport, N.Y. - Covering the walls of Jacob Babcock's bedroom are his favorite athletes.

    At least 15 medals hang around the neck of his favorite wrestler, John Cena.

    "I love him so much. He’s my dude," said Jacob.

    Much like his favorite athletes, Jacob strives to be the best and to never back down.

    It's that inspiration through sports that's fueled him.

    "He's come a long way from the kid who always wore headphones in the school lunchroom," said Jacob's mother, Sarah LoMonaco. "He would walk around and not eat lunch because it was too loud, and his anxiety was really high."

    In eighth grade, Jacob was diagnosed with autism and has high anxiety.

    His mother says it was unified sports that gave her son a chance.

    He played basketball. He's often referred to as "King Jacob," a salute to his favorite NBA player.

    Jacob is known for his three-point shots.

    "It makes me feel very excited and emotional. I’m a three-point shooter like Curry, so every time I shoot a three-point shot, I yell, 'Yeah, let’s go!' said Jacob.

    "That gave him that drive, that shine. The crowd is cheering for him and it just ignited that spark, that flame, and he took off as an individual," Jacob's mother adds.

    That opened the door for the Special Olympics.

    Jacob will compete in the State Winter Games for the first time, competing in the snowshoeing event.

    "You ever see tennis rackets? They’re basically on your feet, so basically you have to run in the snow, like track and cross country," Jacob said.

    Whatever sport he's playing, life lessons taught him to give it his all.

    "And that’s what Special Olympics has done," said Jacob's mother. "It brings out different things in kids that maybe you normally don’t see, or it gives him that drive to move forward and accomplish something else he couldn’t before."

    It's a seed planted by Special Olympics New York.

    Much like King James did for Cleveland and Curry does for the Warriors, Jacob says he'll be going for the gold, doing it for Rochester.

    The winter games are taking place all weekend.

    If you want to show your support and find events, click here.

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