Two athletes from Special Olympics Missouri and Special Olympics Kansas had the honor of co-announcing the 141st pick in the 2023 NFL Draft for the Minnesota Vikings. Richard Scott and Josh Alters, both passionate multi-sport athletes, were chosen to make the pick.
Scott, a multi-sport athlete with Special Olympics Missouri for over 28 years, represented the USA in tennis at the 1999 Special Olympics World Games and won a bronze medal in Unified flag football at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando. Alters, from Special Olympics Kansas, has competed in various sports, including winning a gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle at the 2006 USA National Games, a gold medal in bocce at the 2022 USA Games, and was inducted into the Special Olympics Kansas Athlete Hall of Fame in 2018.
Despite never meeting before, Scott and Alters hit it off immediately when they connected two days before the Draft via Zoom. Both being big fans of the Kansas City Chiefs, they were excited to make the announcement together.
"The player selected will hear from our mouths that he is playing in the NFL…now that is pretty awesome!" said Scott.
"This is so exciting! I'm usually a Chiefs fan but I'll be a temporary Vikings fan for the day!" said Alters.
Nerves ran high, but the pair prepared thoroughly with several run-throughs before the big moment. When the big day arrived, Alters and Scott arrived at the packed arena over 4 hours early to make sure they were ready to take the stage. The anticipation in the room was exhilarating as players, coaches, and media all eagerly awaited the announcement. Originally slated to do the 158th pick, they were informed that they were moving up to the 141st selection. Despite initial nerves, they were naturals under the bright lights!
Following the announcement, both athletes were ecstatic, sharing their joy at meeting Tim Gunhard, Chiefs Ambassador. Thanks to the NFL Foundation for making this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity possible!