RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) Josh Gilbert says, 'After the third out, I just jumped celebrating hoping, assuming the game was over. The umpire told us it was over so we all celebrated. And then here it is, the gold medal right here.'
Special Olympics team South Dakota knocked off the team from Missouri in softball to claim gold after a rough start in play
Gilbert says, ' We just didn't show any mercy on our opponents in the next four games after dropping the first two. We never stopped hitting, we just hit, and hit, and hit.'
And lots of those hits came from Josh
Gilbert says, ' I was nervous at first before going into the box. I took a deep breath and locked on target.'
On target he was
Gilbert says, ' 14 for 17 with a home run. '
It wasn't just the offense that this gold medalist brought to the team
Gilbert says, ' I played left field most of the time I did make two good catches.'
Despite his big outing. Josh shares the credit with his teammates
Gilbert says, ' I'm feeling proud of winning the gold medal. Not just of myself but I'm also proud of my teammates that worked hard and coaches that led us in the right direction. And proud to win the gold for South Dakota.'
That win reminded the biggest Cubbies fan in the Black Hills of 107-year streak ending.
Gilbert says, ' A little bit emotional right now. That reminded me of the 2016 Chicago Cubs game 7 in the World Series. After the curse was broken.'
Team South Dakota also made memories off the field as well
Gilbert says, ' Lots of fun, softball, going up the space needle, going to a Mariners game, watching the fireworks on the 4th of July'
Even away from competition, the competitors couldn't talk about anything else.
Gilbert says, ' I made some new friends, we just talked baseball, about their favorite teams. What the coaches favorite teams, what they like about baseball. You know it is a great sport.'
Josh now shares America's past time with younger players as he helps with Canyon Lake Little League and those moments, and the gold is something this Olympic athlete won't forget.
Gilbert ' To show them how the game is played if they want to be professional ballplayers someday'
Voss " how great was it show them your gold medal.'
Josh, " it was one of the greatest moments of my life.'
Congratulations again to Josh Gilbert on being this week's athlete of the week. I'm Jeff Voss Black Hills Fox Sports.>