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Houston Special Olympian ready to compete in Orlando games

Patrick Billette competes in nearly every gymnastics event.

HOUSTON — Look around Discovery Gymnastics near downtown and you might catch a glimpse of a young man that loves every second he’s there.

Patrick Billette is 22 and participates in almost every activity in the gym.

“I am a level 2 gymnast in Houston, Texas,” Patrick said. “I’ve been training for a very long time.”

Well, it was a long time ago, around the age of 2 to be exact, that he was diagnosed with autism. He also struggles with anxiety and ADHD but Patrick has refused to let those things define him.

“At the very beginning it was hard,” Patrick said. “Then after years and years of training … I get better every year when I do gymnastics.”

He’s always gravitated to this sport and his drive to improve, impresses his Colombian-born coach each practice.

That attention to detail has paid off because next month, Patrick will represent Team Texas at Special Olympics US Games in Orlando.

“I would like to be the best athlete and hopefully score as close to perfect as possible,” Patrick said. “I hope I don’t have to wear any masks when I’m competing, I could go without masks. I hate masks.”