Local athlete wins gold in National Special Olympic Games
It's the 50th anniversary for the National Special Olympics!
The exciting week ended with one local competitor winning three Special Olympic medals and getting honored in hometown parade!
Jonathan Mies of New Berlin won, not just one, but two gold medals and a bronze at the Special Olympics in Seattle.
"Champ! Like Phelps, and Ryan Held,” Jonathan said.
His family wants to spread the message of perseverance and inclusion.
"I mean,” Jonathan’s mom, Jean Anne Mies, said. “It was just so exciting, amazing, fantastic, all the adjectives you want to use."
The games went on all week and ended with a medal ceremony Saturday.
"It was just unbelievable,” Jean said.
Jonathan has loved sports for 25 years and has trained hard at home to win, with Coach Lauren Harbison.
"So proud,” Harbison said.
Sunday, the Mies family flew home from Seattle and was welcomed with cheers by the entire New Berlin community.
"This family has been a huge part of the community for years,” a volunteer EMS Luanne Loving said.
Loving gathered New Berlin police and fire and other departments to throw a parade for Jonathan Sunday.
"I have seen this boy win awards,” Loving said. “But this is top of the line, best thing, I’ve ever seen him do."
Dozens lined the streets in New Berlin where Jonathan and his family grew up and lives now.
"It just made us feel wonderful out there,” Jonathan’s dad, Ed, said.
Jonathan won in the backstroke, the free style, and the medley relay and ended with what he called a “finishing dance."
It's an accomplishment his parents said comes from the support and acceptance from the community.
"I really want to thank the Waverly, Franklin, New Berlin community,” his mom, Jean, said. “They've always included Jonathan and that's helped him mature and grow."
Jonathan said he won't ever forget the 2018 Special Olympics.
His coach works as a special recreation programmer. She said they offer other sports like Bochy ball and flag football. If you're interested in being a part of it, you can contact the park district at this website.