SCHLADMING, Austria — A pair of athletes from Indiana are competing in the Special Olympics World Winter Games this week, and one will return from Austria a gold medalist.
Snowboarder Chris Perdue, a native of Osgood, Ind. and a student at South Ripley High School in Versailles, won the men’s second division advanced giant slalom event on Tuesday.
As a member of Team USA, Perdue competed against Special Olympics athletes from around the globe for the fastest combined time in two runs down the mountain. He set a personal record in his first run, and shaved an additional five seconds from his time on the second to claim the victory by a narrow margin.
“Chris’ second run impressed us all,” said Perdue’s coach Jimmy Laub, of Lawrenceburg. “He nailed everything we have been practicing and I could not be more proud he is coming home with gold.”
Perdue—who trains at Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg and competes regularly as a member of Special Olympics Indiana’s Ripley-Ohio-Dearborn Counties program—is making a name for himself this winter, having also participated in the Winter X Games Unified Snowboarding event in January.
“I have never been more proud of Chris,” said Sherry Carroll, Perdue’s mother. “He has inspired me and is inspiring others to give it their best.”