Raleigh, N.C. — Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) recently recognized Gary Newman of Aurora as the 2013 Special Olympics North Carolina “Athlete of the Year”. Newman was honored with the award during Special Olympics NC Winter Games – Alpine Skiing & Snowboarding event on Sunday Jan. 5 in Boone, according to Keith L. Fishburne, president/CEO of Special Olympics North Carolina.
Newman, 34, has participated in Special Olympics Beaufort/Hyde since he was eight years-old. He competes in Alpine skiing, athletics (track & field) and bowling. Sara Boykin-Clark, coordinator of Special Olympics Beaufort/Hyde, shared that Special Olympics is a way of life for Newman. “He enjoys training and competing but also attends competition events to cheer on his fellow athletes,” she said. He also volunteers at many Special Olympics Beaufort/Hyde fundraisers.”
His family credits Special Olympics with increasing his self-esteem and social skills. Newman’s mother, Kathy, notes that Gary was once a shy, quiet boy, who today is a confident young man with lots of friends. “Gary shares his Special Olympics experiences with anyone who will listen,” said Kathy. “He is constantly looking to recruit new athletes, volunteers and donors to the Special Olympics movement.”
In 2010, Newman competed at the Special Olympics USA Games in Nebraska and won gold, silver and two bronze medals in athletics events.
“Gary is a true champion and an inspirational ambassador for Special Olympics,” said Fishburne. “We are proud to recognize him with the SONC “Athlete of the Year” award to honor his many accomplishments and successes in Special Olympics and life.”
Special Olympics North Carolina offers year-round sports training and competition for more than 38,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. These athletes inspire greatness through their success and provide motivation to the thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide. SONC offers Olympic-type competition in 19 sports on local and state levels. Visit Special Olympics North Carolina at www.specialolympicsnc.com. Engage with us on http://twitter.com/sonc_beafan; http://www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsNC and http://www.youtube.com/BeAFanSONC.