Plano man reaches dreams by qualifying for World Special Olympics

Plano man's wish comes true as he joins Team USA

In Plano for the past 19 years, Reverend Jeff Rawn and his wife Cinde say their son has replayed the same remarkable vision in his head.

It started when Ian, who has Down Syndrome, watched Tara Lipinski win gold at the 1998 Winter Olympics.

“And then he turns around and says, ‘I’m gonna do that someday. And I want to do it on the world stage,'" Cinde said.

“'And I wanna be president of the United States!' So right, that’s really gonna happen," Jeff added.

What they didn't know at the time was that Ian's vision wasn't entirely out of the question. Figure skating is part of the World Special Olympics, but it's incredibly hard to qualify. Only five skaters make team USA every four years.

Still, since Ian was determined, they enrolled him in lessons.

A letter from Special Olympics arrived in the mail last summer. In a home video you can see Ian celebrating as he realizes he made the team.

“And now I am living my dream," he said.

Ian leaves for the World Special Olympics in Austria next week. He's the only Texan on Team USA, and although he plans to bring home Gold, he says his greatest reward is being an inspiration for anyone who's ever considered putting their dreams on ice.

"[People with disabilities] can do anything they set their minds to," Ian said.

His parents learned something too.

"Ian, in so many ways, has taught us a lot about life," Jeff said.

“What’s good for Ian is good for the world," Cinde added.

As good as gold.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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