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Sport Stacking changes one man's life

Sport Stacking changes local man's life

BUFFALO CITY, Wis. (WKBT) - Have you ever heard of Sport Stacking? It's a sport involving agility, speed and concentration. And for one area man, it literally changed his life.

For 2-3 hours a day, 19-year-old Jesse Horn of Buffalo City practices the sport of Sport Stacking, over and over and over.

"I was around 9 years old and I just saw a TV commercial promoting the official cups called speed stacks," said Jesse.

This lightning quick display is a master course in hand-eye coordination.

"I just kept practicing everyday and I realized I got faster and faster so my 9 year old self told me, 'I want to be the best.'"

At 13, Jesse competed in his first tournament and won. And he kept on winning.

"I went to Montreal, Canada last year for the World Championships and I did really well there."

He's now one of a hundred or so sport stackers on the official Team USA,  competing all over the world. 

Jesse said, "I had a goal of being on Team USA and when I finally got in, I was pretty excited because I knew I worked so hard for this goal."

A tall feat, especially considering the odds in life haven't always been stacked in Jesse's favor.

"I was diagnosed at age 3," said Jesse. 

He doesn't remember much, but he does know this, "It was just really bad."

"During the first few years of my autism, I was in that stage, probably never even going to go to school, I wasn't able to ride a school bus, I'd usually have tantrums now and then, because I was trying to communicate and I couldn't."

Jesse says sport stacking changed all of that.

"It actually almost, I wouldn't say a cure for it, but it actually is a tool for me for my autism. I just look at sport stacking as not just a sport, it's actually a life-changing experience for me."

He's now sharing what sport stacking has done for him with others.

"My goal is to be an ambassador for kids with autism and disabilities, but I don't really usually call those people with disabilities, I call them people with abilities because they have the ability to succeed."

Knowing what it's like to live life from the inside looking out, Jesse hopes he can help build a brighter future for other kids with autism.

"You're in a dark tunnel and you have a light at the end, and the kid or the child is in that tunnel and he just keeps running or walking to that light, but he just can't reach that light, and for my tool of sport stacking, my goal is to bring that child to that light and be free. and be free to the world he wished for for years."

Jesse says he's finally reached the light and as a result, today his cup runneth over.

Jesse is a 5 time gold medalist and competed in the 50th AAU Junior Olympic games this summer.

He does demonstrations around the area every year, including those for children with autism.

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