Greenwood’s Liam Price wins silver at Special Olympics World Games
GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — From Center Grove High School to the World Games in Berlin, swimmer Liam Price is making big waves in the world of Special Olympics. Price was the only Indiana athlete competing with Team USA, and he came home with a silver medal.
However, nine years ago, swimming with the Special Olympics wasn’t even on the Price family’s radar.
“He almost died twice,” Price’s dad Jon said.
Price’s appendix had burst. He needed emergency surgery and a two-and-a-half-week stay in the hospital. This scary moment changed his life.
“He was able to lose some weight while he was in there,” Jon said. “Once he started losing that weight, he started showing an interest in (sports. He said) ‘Hey, I want to do swimming. I want to do basketball. I want to be a part of the football team.’ Everything just blossomed from there.”
“I love swimming,” Liam said. “When I was younger I always thought jumping in the pool was something. I used to like to swim underwater when I was younger, but then I wanted to turn it into a sport.”
That he did. Price shined for the Center Grove Trojans before joining the swim team at the University of Indianapolis. Three years later, his dream of representing Team USA at the Special Olympics World Games became reality.
“I was like the most excited I’ve ever been in my natural-born life,” Liam said. “I never thought I would make it there. I didn’t believe in myself enough. I wasn’t crediting myself, but people were seeing that, ‘Wow, this guy can swim!’”
He came home with some hardware. Team USA placed second in the 4×50 medley relay. Price led the team off.
“What is hanging around my neck is a world-class, Special Olympics 2023 Berlin World Games silver medal,” Liam said, proudly holding up his medal.
“Just to see your son be up there and represent Indiana and Hoosiers, represent the United States, that’s something I’ll treasure forever,” Jon said.
Medaling at the World Games is just one of Price’s goals. His passion is for advocacy and inclusion for those with intellectual disabilities in any sport, at any level, whether that’s here in Indiana or across the globe.
“As far as the amount of intellectually disabled individuals that are a part of college programs, it’s probably pretty small,” Liam’s Special Olympics coach Jason Hite said. “However, that’s part of what Liam’s message is always been – inclusion and advocating and trying to pave the way for others to follow in his footsteps.”
“Everyone has a purpose in life,” Liam said. “Doesn’t matter whether you have a disability, your race, anything. You have an opportunity to make an impact.”
The week of June 19 was big for Center Grove alums — Price won a silver medal, while his friend Trayce Jackson-Davis was selected in the NBA Draft.
“Sorry Trayce, but this accomplishment is a lot bigger than that,” Liam joked.
Liam’s next goal is simple — gold.