|Chris Perdue, center, has won the Gold in Snowboarding in the 2017 World Winter Games in Special Olympics in Austria. The once in a lifetime trip and event has propelled this rising star to a new level. PHOTO COURTESY OF SPECIAL OLYMPICS|
|On Tuesday, March 21, an overturned load on US 50 east of Versailles caused traffic to go to one lane to get around the crash. A flatbed truck from Laughery Valley Ag Co-op overturned spilling sacks of some type of material onto the roadway. Another truck came to transfer the load. No one was injured. WANDA ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTO|
|Pictured with the American flag proudly draped around his shoulders, 18-year-old Chris Perdue, has won the Gold in Snowboarding in the 2017 World Winter Games in Special Olympics in Austria. The once in a lifetime trip and event has propelled this rising star to a new level. PHOTO COURTESY OF SPECIAL OLYMPICS|
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PAGE UPDATED BY MARIA SIEVERDING MARCH 23, 2017 3 P.M.
Chris Perdue brings home the gold!
Wanda English Burnett
He received the gold medal at a ceremony Wednesday morning with loved ones a world away watching. According to a press release from Special Olympics, Perdue competed against eight athletes from New Zealand, Switzerland, Japan, Austria, Korea and fellow Team USA member Jeremy Beckham in his division – the Advanced Giant Slalom event.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SPECIAL OLYMPICS
At left, Perdue stands proud with United States Vice President, Mike Pence’s wife, Karen. Perdue has experienced many “firsts” on this journey to becoming a gold medalist! His parents, Sherry and HB Carroll of Osgood, are with him in Austria for this experience.
“I have never been more proud of Chris,” noted his mother, Sherry Carroll. “He has inspired me and he is inspiring others to give it their best.” He gave it his all and with five seconds to spare captured the gold! According to information from the event, during the Snowboarding Advanced Giant Slalom competition, athletes take two runs down a course making their way around gates. The two times are combined for their final time.
During Perdue’s first, run he set a personal record and was in third place behind athletes from Switzerland and New Zealand. On the second run he again set a personal record that gave him the seconds he needed to claim the prize. “Chris’ second run impressed us all,” said Perdue’s local coach, Jimmy Laub. “He nailed everything we have been practicing and I could not be more proud he is coming home with gold.”
While he’s having a blast in a country he never dreamed of going to, he’s excited to be coming home this Saturday. And, his fans are waiting! Many tweets and messages have crossed country lines to reach back and forth between a little Indiana town and Schladming, Austria, congratulating Perdue, who has his mother, Sherry and step-father HB Carroll at his side. As news companies began to release photos and the stats, Trace Tucker, Perdue’s teacher at South Ripley High School, said he was so proud and excited. Tucker is proud of Perdue all the time, but said he knows how hard he has worked to get the gold, along with a whole community who supported not only him, but his family. “He’s got such a big heart,” Tucker told The Versailles Republican. He said Perdue is always looking out for the other person. “He deserves this based on his ability, but more than that, it’s because he’s just so concerned about everyone around him,” Tucker pointed out.
The teacher noted that Greg Townsend with Special Olympics Indiana, just took Perdue under his wing, realized his potential, and nominated him for the World Games. It’s been a journey getting from here to there, but one Perdue has enjoyed all along the way. He’s competed locally, in Aspen Colorado and Connecticut, and now the world. Perdue credits his mother, who he says always pushes him to do his best. “I love my mother,” he told the newspapers in previous articles. This is a first for Special Olympics Indiana – Ripley Ohio Dearborn Counties (SOIN-ROD). Tucker noted that Townsend has been so instrumental in getting Perdue where he is and is thankful for a group of people who have worked tirelessly to make sure Perdue could reach his full potential in his beloved sport of snowboarding.
Tucker has spent countless hours outside the classroom with Perdue (as he does all his students) and said he couldn’t be prouder of him as he achieves something no one from this county has ever done before – bringing home the gold. Another local teacher at South Ripley, Brenda Strimple, is anxiously awaiting his arrival and can’t wait to have a in-school news broadcast about his adventure. Not only is he bringing home the gold, but this shining star placed fifth in the snowboarding Super G. He will have a BIG story to tell when he comes home.
Perdue hails from Osgood where his town is proud of him as well. Tucker will be picking him up at the airport on Saturday and can’t wait to hear all about his big trip. Ripley County is proud of Perdue. “I think I speak for all the commissioners when I say the county is proud of this young athlete and wish him the best of everything,” noted Bob Linville, county commissioner, who also is from Osgood. He said they are proud of this achievement and want people to know there are definitely good and talented young people in this county.