Special Olympics help Indiana teen find purpose, community

Posted at 12:55 AM, Jan 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-11 00:56:57-05

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. -- Eighteen-year-old Chris Perdue has grown by leaps and bounds since he began snowboarding -- and, according to his mother, the improvement hasn’t just been on the slopes.

"He’s come a long way," said Perdue’s mother, Sherry Carroll. "He can read … he’s doing way more than he has ever done in his life."

Perdue, who will represent the United States at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria, has spent his life dealing with short-term memory loss and delayed cognitive development. Since he began to snowboard, Carroll said, he has been exposed to a wider community of peers and learned skills that once seemed far out of reach.

WATCH the video above to hear from Chris Perdue and learn how special athletics are about much more than competition.