Special Olympian in USA Games

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Todd Mishler | June 11, 2014

Jerry Halboth has been a fighter his entire life.

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“I was born with a learning disability and struggled with basic functions that I had to try and overcome,” said Halboth, 30. “Through a special class in school, I was able to keep up with other students better.”

The Williams Bay native played Little League and participated in track and basketball in high school. However, his competitive spirit reached another level when Halboth was introduced to Special Olympics in 1998.

“A teacher at Williams Bay told me about it, I looked up information and became very interested, and here I am today,” he said.

Halboth will be the only Walworth County representative on the 68-member Team Wisconsin, which will participate in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in Princeton, New Jersey, from June 14 through June 21.

He will compete in the 200, 400, 1,600 relay, long jump and shot put, and as always, Halboth is chasing more ribbons/medals for his collection. However, his nearly year-round commitment comes from another motivational source.

His mother, Karen, and four siblings live in Walworth County and provide love and support. But his father, Robert, who died of cancer in 2009, was his best friend.

“He came to as many games and races as he could and was my biggest inspiration,” Halboth said before a practice last week at Elkhorn Area High School. “He was my No. 1 fan. One of the things we talked about and was a goal of his and mine was to get to nationals and medal in the top three so I would be eligible for the international meet.”

And that's what the 2001 prom king and 2002 male athlete of the year at Williams Bay aims to accomplish.

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