CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Special Olympic athlete Lee Goodman made the newspaper when he was 8-years-old.
48 years later, he is still competing.
"It takes time and hard work," he said.
He has been competing in powerlifting, and now volleyball, almost the entire 50 years the Special Olympics has been around.
But this year is different.
As he said, the Cabarrus County volleyball team is invited to the "big dance," or, nationals this year. It is the first time this group of athletes will go.
"They said do you want to go," Coach Carol Goodrich says. "And I said yes of course we want to go."
Goodman's niece Adele Goodman says there were a few years the family pulled him off the team.
"He ballooned up to 182 pounds," she says. "And we wouldn't have him right now. He wouldn't be around. Special Olympics, we think, basically saved his life."
Like the other athletes, the sport keeps him motivated, with something exciting to look forward to.
"Are you going to give it everything you've got," Adele Goodman asked her uncle.
"Everything I've got," he responded.
The big national games will be in June. More information.