February 4, 2009
09-017

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

VSU Landscaper To Compete at Special Olympics World Games

VALDOSTA - Todd Howard, Valdosta State University landscapr, will leave Wednesday, Feb. 4, with his team to compete in the Special Olympics Winter World Games in Boise, Idaho.

Howard is looking forward to traveling cross-country with his 11 teammates to compete in floor hockey, which is similar to ice hockey, except played on a gym floor. His team has practiced every Monday and Thursday for a full year in preparation for the world games and the opportunity to join more than 4,000 of the greatest Special Olympic athletes in the world.

With more than 30 state medals, Howard has competed year-round with local Special Olympics teams for more than seven years. When coach Tammy Crosby started the team and invited him to join, he began falling in love with the sport he was first introduced to in middle school. He recently switched from center to left wing to aid the team with his speed, which will definitely be needed when facing some of the best teams in the world.

Howard is grateful to the many supporters who have given to the organization and made the trip possible. He credits coaches Crosby and Lindsay Wolfe, as well as his team members with their success and the pleasure playing has given him.

“It makes me challenge myself,” said Howard, who also speaks to schools and media outlets as a Special Olympics ambassador. “I believe in myself and have more self esteem.”

Howard said he hopes to return from his two-week trip with a medal, but most of all he’s glad to have a chance for such an amazing experience.