Students use Special Olympics for passions while going for the gold

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Three teens from Indiana made history on Monday in Princeton, New Jersey during the Special Olympics USA Games.

Sam McNew, of Hamilton County was the first gold medal winner for the games. He participated in four powerlifting events, taking gold in squat and deadlift.

McNew said competing in the Special Olympics is his life after competing for 20 years. He shared that competing allows him to meet new friends, do the sports he loves and do things he never dreamed possible.

Brent Bowgren of Valparaiso also made history when he became a member of the Athlete Leadership Program. He is the first Indiana athlete for the Special Olympics to compete on a national level for a coaching role.

Alex Dunn an Indiana High School Athletic Association student-athlete was on the Student Advisory Committee. Dunn helped bring high school athletes and Special Olympic athletes together.

Every four years athletes for the Special Olympics USA Games come together at different location to compete in several different events. Team Indiana is put together based on performance during state competitions. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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