Austin was born on March 5, 1995 in Turin. From the beginning, life turned out to be for him. 2005 is in some way the watershed, the year of his rebirth, when it is part of a community for minors, until August 2013 and then move on to live in a group in a Turin apartment run by the Animazione Valdocco cooperative.
Despite the harshness of his life, Austin grew up becoming a boy, strict with himself, but also nice and cheerful. He is also a rather determined type in finding his way, so here he begins to collect certificates of attendance at different courses, from the pre-working insertion (PAL) to the photographic one up to the job placement course (FAL) at the “ENGIM” training institute in 2018.
Austin loves watching movies, especially the Musicals, but only one – he admits – inspired him so much that he made him understand who he wanted to be when he grew up. It is not a musical, the film in question is “Space Jam”, released in 1996, which merges into a single image actors of flesh and blood and cartoons. So the characters of Warner Bros find themselves sharing the screen with the great champions of the National Basketball Association, primarily Michael Jordan. And it’s him that Austin dreams of becoming someday.
Since then, his passion is concentrated on basketball which has become his sport. “Of basketball, the thing I like best is team spirit, feeling part of a group” – he often repeats.
He started playing at the age of 14 with the k2 of Turin but it is since 2015 that in basketball he puts his soul, body and heart, a “crazy heart” as it is called the Team Special Olympics that welcomes him.
Every training, every game, become opportunities for him to improve his skills and sports skills, so the challenge is above all to himself. The events, local, regional and national, offer instead the opportunity to get involved in relationships, expanding his friendships and keeping them lasting over time.
Basketball has helped Austin a lot, not only for the physical well-being he has achieved, but also for the inner balance that every workout feels he has conquered, every day more. With time he improved physically, moving more on the pitch, but also in spirit, passing more often the ball to his teammates, for example.
It is he himself who recognizes that he has learned, thanks to this sport, to better control his anger, especially when he is in the wrong. It’s a small but great achievement for a guy with a dark past like Austin.
The convocation was absolutely unexpected. A beautiful surprise that now has forced him to always look forward, to the near future, rather than behind him.
Today he feels a huge satisfaction in knowing that he is an athlete of the Italy team who will participate in the next Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. He will compete in unified basketball, which will field mixed teams composed of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities from all over the world. What better chance to give your best?
So, as they say, the past is past, the present is radiant, the future is open: good luck, Austin!
Source: Special Olympics Italia