INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A gold medal winning Special Olympic athlete from Indiana has entered a competition to gain national recognition of a different kind.
Andrew Peterson, 21, has hopes of bringing awareness to the abilities of people with special needs by appearing on the cover of a national publication.
Born with fetal alcohol syndrome, the accomplished runner overcame mental and physical challenges to excel on his middle and high school cross country teams before joining Special Olympics Indiana.
In June, Peterson dominated the 1500M, 3000M and 5000M running events in the USA Games held in New Jersey to add to the more than 30 gold medals achieved in state competitions.
Those accomplishments and more are what Peterson hopes will inspire readers of Runner’s World. The publication launched a cover contest inviting entrants to submit photos and stories of why their stories are worthy of being featured.
“They said they were looking for a runner who was authentic, inspiring, athletic, passionate and unstoppable. I thought those five characteristics very well defined Andrew,” said Andrew’s father Craig Peterson.
The runner said he would especially like to see his story reach athletes with special needs.
“I just like to help other athletes, like, to get better,” Peterson said.
Voters were asked to submit their selection for the cover contest daily until Aug. 15. The top five male and top five female contestants would then move on to an interview phase of the program.
With less than two weeks to go until the voting deadline, Peterson was in third place out of hundreds of entries.
To vote for Peterson, click on his contest page here.