Big thanks to Bridgeport News for their ongoing support with these monthly athlete features!
Leslie Dotts, 24, is this month’s Bridgeport News Southland Area Athlete of the Month. Leslie lives in the Morgan Park community and has been competing in the Special Olympics Chicago program since she was 14 years old. She has competed at McGuane Park for over three years and participates in 13 sports, including Aquatics, Basketball Skills, Bocce, Bowling, Floor Hockey Team, Football Skills, Gymnastics, Softball Skills, Snowshoe, Soccer Team, Track & Field, Tennis Skills, and Volleyball. But, her favorite sport is soccer.
Leslie began her athletic career when she was nine years old and began swimming and training with the Easter Seals program.
This year, Leslie competed for the first time in Rhythmic Gymnastics where she received a gold medal and qualified for Summer State Games at Illinois State University. This was a huge accomplishment for Leslie!
Leslie has earned quite a few awards over the past decade and is looking forward to adding more medals to her collection. She will compete in the Floor Hockey tournament November 8th at Northeastern University. Leslie will play as an important defender on the team and is hoping to bring home an award with “McGuane Magic.” Leslie says her favorite thing about competing is, “visiting with my friends. I have fun.”
Leslie lives at home with her Aunt Cheryl who she is very close with and loves very much! Leslie said, “I like to be nice to my Aunt and share a house with her. She’s the best!”
When asked what her favorite thing to do when not competing, Leslie says, ““I like to swim, go bowling, and exercise with my friends at McGuane Park.” She also loves to watch television, listen to music, go shopping with Aunt Cheryl, and go swimming for exercise.
“Leslie is an enthusiastic and happy person,” says Kathleen McIntos, Leslie’s coach at McGuane Park. “Each person at the park is always greeted with a friendly hello and she is known for her great compliments towards others. She has come a long way over the past few years in term of competing in Special Olympics. Leslie has earned her way onto three team sports and has worked very hard to learn the rules and concepts of those sports. She is always willing to do what her coaches ask, and comes to the park every day ready to participate! I really enjoy my time spent with Leslie and I am so proud of her many accomplishments. She has impressed her coaches and has been bringing home more gold medals this year than ever before! She is a friend to all, and an overall wonderful person!”
For more information on the Special Olympics Chicago program or to get involved, please visit www.sochicago.org
Congratulations Leslie on all your hard work and for being the Southland area athlete of the month!