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Big 12 Announces Special Olympics Athletes Of The Year
February 20, 2014
The Big 12 Conference has announced the 2013-14 Special Olympics Athletes of the Year. This year’s recipients are Heather Hancock and Josh Hickey.

Each season, two athletes are selected among the states in the Big 12 footprint for their outstanding participation in and advocation of Special Olympics. Hancock and Hickey will travel to Kansas City for the 2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship to receive commemorative rings in an on-court presentation during the men’s championship contest.

Heather Hancock is a native of Oklahoma City and a graduate of Moore High School and Moore Norman Technology Center where she studied Business Technology. She has been involved with Special Olympics for most of her life, starting her career at the age of eight. For 22 years, Hancock has competed in various sports including basketball, bowling, bocce, swimming, golf and track & field. Some of her athletic accomplishments include being the Boomer Area Special Olympic Athlete of the Year and the Miss Westmoore High School prom queen during her senior year of high school. Hancock also received the Oklahoma City Mayors George B. Lewis award for self-advocacy in 2010 and was voted to the National Down Syndrome Congress Board at Disney World. She ended her three-year term in 2013.

Hancock has worked as an administrative assistant with the Oklahoma State Department of Education, Special Education Section for over six years. She currently resides in Oklahoma City with her parents Bill and Lisa Hancock and is engaged to Craig, who also has Down Syndrome and lives in New Orleans.

Josh Hickey currently resides in Dubuque, Iowa and has been a Special Olympics athlete for 15 years. His sport specialties include basketball, bowling, snowshoeing, track and field and volleyball. Hickey competed in the 2010 national games where his team won third in its division. He has won countless gold, silver and bronze medals while competing in the Iowa Special Olympics State games. While in high school, Hickey played football and competed in track and field for four years and was on the wrestling team for a year.

Hickey currently works at the Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque and enjoys horseshoeing. He is an active member of his church, volunteering at many events and also sings in the choir.


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