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Global Messenger and Athlete Leader Kristy DeCosta Begins Career in Tennessee with Gold

DeCosta has been competing for over 25 years and just brought her talents to Tennessee
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Special Olympics Tennessee held its Regional Swimming competition on Saturday, April 20, 2024. New and returning swimmers could race at varying lengths for each stroke— freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. Kristy DeCosta attended the meet as one of her first Special Olympics Tennessee competitions and took home three gold medals.

DeCosta, 37, started her career with Special Olympics Connecticut when she was nine. As an Athlete Leader, Global Messenger, swimmer and bowler, DeCosta has been involved with Special Olympics for almost her entire life. She recently moved to Tennessee and is competing with the Smoky Mountain Region. In her free time, DeCosta enjoys playing pickleball and photography.

“I just started taking pictures of flowers, butterflies and wildlife,” DeCosta said about her photography experience.

As a volunteer photographer, she has attended Special Olympics golf tournaments, Polar Plunges, swim meets, bowling tournaments and more.

In addition, DeCosta has served as both an Athlete Leader and Global Messenger during her involvement with Special Olympics. She has also attended national competitions such as the 2006 Special Olympics USA Games in Iowa and the 2014 USA Games in New Jersey.

DeCosts congratulates a fellow competitor

“[As a Global Messenger] they would have me do things like the Oath and introduce people,” she said. “I went to Washington, D.C. to talk to Congress.”

When in the water, DeCosta specializes in freestyle. At Regional Swimming, she competed in the 25-meter butterfly and 50-meter freestyle and joined three others in the 4-by-25-meter freestyle relay. With three gold medals in this competition, DeCosta viewed her first experience with Special Olympics Tennessee as a success.

“It’s been a joy,” DeCosta said. "It’s been wonderful getting to know people and getting to know the team.”

The next swimming competition for Special Olympics Tennessee is on May 17 and 18, 2024, at our State Summer Games presented by Wellpoint Tennessee. Click here to learn more.

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