Sasha’s dashing pace as good as gold – and silver

At left, Special Olympics athlete Sasha Hudson of Millsboro proudly poses with his gold and silver medals, and his stepfather Robert Bailey. Mr. Bailey was the coach for Team USA Delaware track and field participants who earned numerous medals at the Special Olympics USA Games held in Seattle, Wash.

MILLSBORO – That hard work, practice and preparation are now worth their weight in gold.

And silver.

Special Olympics athlete Sasha Hudson of Millsboro sprinted to four medals – two gold and a pair of silver – at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games held July 1-7 in Seattle, Washington.

Sasha, son of Donnel and Robert Bailey, won gold medals in the 200-meter and 400-meter races and was a silver medalist in 100-meter dash and as part of a runner-up 4 x 100-meter relay. He is a longtime Special Olympics athlete, competing with the Sussex Riptide community team.

Mr. Bailey, Sasha’s stepfather, was the head coach for Team USA Delaware for track and field.

This was Sasha’s first USA Games competition. His expectations were “to do the best that I can, and capture gold.”

Sasha, 24, has some very proud parents.

“It’s awesome,” said Ms. Bailey. “Sasha, besides doing his regular athletics, also did special training for the USA Games for about nine months. He really went all out and took it very serious.”

“My son, he did an awesome job. My team, they did a phenomenal job,” said Mr. Bailey. “I couldn’t be more excited about my athletes and my son as they represented their state and their county.”

More than 4,000 athletes and coaches representing 50 state programs and the District of Columbia, competed in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports. The athletes were supported by tens of thousands of volunteers and spectators.

Team USA Delaware track and field athletes began to prepare almost a year ago.

“We had a lot preparation. I had to go to the gym,” said Sasha.

“The preparation began last summer when all of my athletes got nominated, and they found they made the Team USA Delaware team,” said Mr. Bailey. “In October, we got geared up. We got in shape. Everybody got their work schedules as far as preparation for the Olympics. Everybody started practicing at home with their parents. They were working out in the gym and working out with me almost an entire nine months. We were all in, working out as hard as we could. Everybody had one mindset, one goal. And that was to be as successful as we can and do the best that we can and leave nothing in Delaware, just take this to Seattle and do the best that we can.”

Sasha’s favorite event in track and field is the 100-meter dash. He took second in that event.

His gold-medal victory in the 200 meters was highlighted by a closing surge in which he passed the leader down the homestretch. “I was looking for the win, and I got it,” he said.

In the silver-medal 400-meter relay, Sasha teamed with Jilian Mathews of the Dover area, Christi Theron of Wilmington and Antonio Bowe from Milford.

“One of the most exciting things is that I got to see the hard work and the dedication that all of my athletes put in for nine months pay off in Seattle,” said Mr. Bailey. “Not only did they get to reach their goal and each one of them came home with medals, they all beat their personal best times. That was most gratifying for me as a coach. My team, my athletes, they came home with no regrets because they know they left everything in Seattle and gave it their all and gave it their best.”

Sasha, who works at Chimes Delaware in Millsboro and has done radio promotional spots for Special Olympics Delaware, has a special place for his gold and silver medals. “I put them on the headboard of my bed,” he said.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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