Davenport is the first-ever athlete from Roane County to compete at USA Games

Will represent Team Tennessee in Athletics (track & field)

William Davenport is the first-ever athlete to be selected from Area 30 - Roane County to compete in the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. Davenport will represent Team Tennessee in Athletics (track and field) in Orlando, Florida at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex from June 6 -10.

Davenport is a six-year Special Olympics athlete. He’s always enjoyed running and felt confident in his speed. Until 2016, he had never competed in a sport. That’s when Coach Guinn of Roane County High School asked if he’d want to compete in Special Olympics. He never thought he’d win his first gold medal a year later, or that he’d later be named the first in his county to represent his home state at the 2022 USA Games.

On August 6, 2022, Davenport arrived at work when he was told a surprise was in store for him. He was told that he wouldn’t be working, and they had to drive to a nearby middle school. They arrived at Cherokee Middle School where he was given his own “Team William 2022 Special Olympics USA Games” shirt. A big crowd full of friends and family were waiting for Davenport’s entrance to watch him be announced in the Team Tennessee roster reveal.

“I had no words that day," said Davenport. "To everyone at home, thank you. It still shocks me today that I was picked and how you were there to celebrate with me. Thank you for your support. I will try to do my best for you guys. Never give up. Follow your dreams."

The 2022 USA Games will also mark the first time he has flown on an airplane and the first time visiting Florida. Team Tennessee arrived on June 4 to get ready for Opening Ceremonies and competitions held throughout the week. When Davenport touched down at the airport, he was greeted by Peyton Manning thanks to a partnership with Textron Aviation. Davenport was nervous about his first flight but seeing Manning’s support for his home state made the experience even more special.

Davenport is no stranger to competitions, but he knows he will be going against other talented opponents in Florida. He has made it a routine to practice almost every day in order to prepare. He knows he has the support of Roane County and the rest of Tennessee to help push him through to a week of fun and victory.

“On a scale of one to 10, I’m a 10. I feel confident because I know my hometown is watching me. I will try my best. I’ll do it and do it fast. I’m doing this for the whole world to see. We’re going to have fun,” said Davenport.

Davenport will begin his event on June 6th, from 8:00am to 2:00pm at the Track and Field Complex of ESPN Wide World of Sports. For information on how to watch, visit the USA Games Hub.

Team Tennessee is represented by a combination of 139 people with competitors in athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling, flag football, golf, powerlifting, swimming, tennis and volleyball. The USA Games is hosted once every four years and showcases 19 Olympic-style teams and individual sports and 30 events throughout the week, including forums and VIP receptions. Visit the 2022 USA Game website for the competition schedule and other information.

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