CHARLOTTE (FOX 46) — Ted Hula of Charlotte took home a silver medal in tennis at the fall tournament for Special Olympics North Carolina.
But he also walked away with another important award.
“It’s our honor to present the Robb Williams Tennis Sportsmanship award to Ted because he’s such a great individual,” said Keith Fishburne, President/CEO of Special Olympics North Carolina.
Ted, who is autistic, has participated in SONC events for twenty years.
This specific award is in memory of Robb Williams, a competitive tennis player for SONC. In 2011, Fishburne said they started selecting one deserving participant to give the award to, out of many statewide athletes. The award is reserved for tennis participants.
Ted and Robb knew each other.
“When Rob was alive and at the top of his game, he and Ted played a lot of fierce matches against each other. One time Rob would win, sometimes Todd would win. They were great opponents and they are really at the elite level of tennis in Special Olympics and from that a great friendship developed,” Fishburne said.
Ted’s tennis coach, Bob Bowler, is very proud.
“A lot of the other athletes look up to him. He’s a great role model. He has real good leadership, good attitude, good sportsmanship. We try to teach them it’s about fun and that you don’t have to win every match and Ted gets that and accepts that,” Bowler said.