Las Cruces Special Olympian went to the US games this summer

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of heroes from their hometowns — natives of southern New Mexico who perform feats of heroism or otherwise serve as inspiration. In 2022 we will put one hero from the hometown in the spotlights every month. Send an email to to nominate someone.

LAS CRUCES – Jenny Matsler of Las Cruces has collected dozens of medals during her years at Special Olympics New Mexico. This summer, she will get her first chance to compete in the state’s boules national games in Orlando, Florida.

Jenny, 43, was born with Williams syndrome. It is a chromosomal disorder that causes developmental delays and other medical problems. Her stepmother, Nila Matsler, said that Jenny functions very well, adding that the condition also means she is very sociable.

“She’s never met a stranger,” Nila said.

Jenny competed in the New Mexico Special Olympics when she was young, but came back to it when she was about 22. She has been active ever since. The sporting events she has participated in range widely from softball and basketball to swimming, bowling and bocce. The Special Olympics also includes events such as cheerleading, golf, surfing, volleyball and equestrian sports.

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