(WBTV) - In this month's Special Olympics Athlete of the Month Segment, we featured the Cabarrus Thunder Volleyball team, which is making its first trip to the 2018 USA Games in Seattle on June 30.
"It's amazing, I mean we're still in shock," Head Coach Carol Goodrich said. "Half of us have never flown in a plane before, half of us have never been out of the state before, so it's going to be a new experience for everybody."
The Thunder have been practicing together since January, amping up the intensity as the year has gone along.
"It's a lot of fun, I've been doing this for nine years. I've seen the team grow a lot in the past nine years that I've been doing this," nine-year veteran and team captain Harry Kaiser said.
While the goal is to win as many games as possible in Seattle, the trip to the west coast is about far more than the competition.
"I love these kids, I've known most of them for six or seven years. I love all of them," Goodrich said.
The team will stay on the campus of the University of Washington and will take time to tour the area, including a trip to a Seattle Mariners baseball game.