Special Olympics: Athlete Jack Piscitell - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Special Olympics: Athlete Jack Piscitell

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Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver thinks nothing of exercising in a business suit. So why did he drop and do 20 with my nephew Jack?

To understand that, a quick look back: on January 3, 2000, Giacomo Sabitino Piscitell was born at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. We quickly started calling him Jack in the Box because he was almost too big for his incubator.

Jack was born with Down syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes intellectual disabilities. He also struggles to speak because of a speech disorder.

In spite of his physical and intellectual challenges, Jack from an early age has loved sports, whether on the golf course as a toddler or learning to swim or hitting home runs in baseball. It seemed Jack has never stopped moving.

Jack's mother -- my sister Cathleen -- struggled to find enough activities to match Jack's energy. So she was thrilled when he had the chance to compete in the Special Olympics in Connecticut and won two gold medals for swimming.

"I didn't know he was so competitive," she said. "When he got up on the blocks he took off it was just like my daughter he wanted to beat everyone and he was fast."

This year, Fox 5's parent company -- 21st Century Fox -- is a proud sponsor of the Special Olympics. Chairman Shriver stopped by to talk to Fox 5 about why he is trying to take the global organization on a new mission one of inclusion. Tim's mother Eunice founded the Special Olympics. The first games were held in Chicago in 1968. Eunice's sister Rosemary was born with intellectual disabilities. Now Tim carries on his mother's work with an expanded vision.

My nephew Jack has been lucky enough to benefit from that vision and work.

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