Perdue competing at X Games this week

ESPN has announced that Special Olympics Indiana - Ripley Ohio Dearborn Counties’ athlete, Chris Perdue of Osgood, is returning, for the third consecutive year, to the X Games Aspen 2019 for the annual Special Olympics Unified Snowboarding Races.

The X Games are taking place from Tuesday, Jan. 22, through Saturday, Jan. 26, on Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Col. Coverage of the X Games can be viewed on ESPN and ABC.
Perdue is one of 10 Special Olympics athletes from around the world selected by ESPN and Special Olympics to demonstrate their snowboarding skills at the Unified event during the X Games. ESPN is the global presenting sponsor and official media sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports.

Unified Sports is an inclusive sports program that combines an approximately equal number of Special Olympics athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities) on teams for training and competition.

Three models exist within Unified Sports: competitive Unified Sports, Unified Sports Player Development and Unified Sports Recreation. All three models provide different types of experiences in team sports such as basketball, football, and volleyball and in other sports such as bocce, golf and tennis. Unified Sports is now offered throughout the world and has been a Special Olympics internationally sanctioned program since 1989.

Perdue is partnered with Mike Schultz, an American Snowmobiler. Schultz is a three-sport X Games athlete with the most adaptive gold medals in X Game history - he has eight between SnoCross Adaptive and Moto X Racing Adaptive. He’s won SnoCross Adaptive every time he’s competed; a 2016 win brought the total to five.

Schultz is an above-the-knee amputee who created his own knee and prosthetic leg to accommodate his activities. The self-trained engineer now has a successful business, Biodapt, serving adaptive athletes and veterans. He builds prosthetics for several of his competitors.

For the fifth consecutive year, this event provides an opportunity for X Games Aspen pro athletes and fans to see the power of Special Olympics in action. The Unified Snowboarding Races will provide professional winter sports athletes an opportunity to partner with Special Olympics athletes on X Games slopes.

Through this event, Special Olympics will further cultivate another annual tradition that celebrates individuals with and without intellectual disabilities partnering in sports.

While in Aspen, Perdue will also compete in the Sixth Annual Hannah Teter Special Olympics Unified Dual Slalom Race on the Silver Dip NASTAR Course on Aspen Mountain. Twenty-five snowboarders including Hannah Teter, representatives of Perfect Sense, the event sponsor, and the 10 Special Olympics athletes, and Olympic and action sports athletes will participate.

In 2017, Perdue captured a gold medal in his division of the Advanced Giant Slalom at the Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Austria. Perdue competed against athletes from all around the world. In the Advanced Giant Slalom event he challenged a total of eight athletes from New Zealand, Switzerland, Japan, Austria, and Korea. Prior to the World Games, Perdue competed at the X Games with Unified Partner, Danny Davis, taking seventh place. Last year, partnered with Schultz, the team took fifth place.

Perdue, 20, trains at Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg. He’s been involved in Special Olympics for the past eight years, after being introduced to the organization by his Special Ed teacher from South Ripley High School.

During the recent Winter Games of Special Olympics Indiana held at Perfects, Perfect North Slopes learned of Perdue’s return to the X Games and provided him with a new pair of snowboarding boots for his trip.

About X Games: X Games, an annual sports event controlled and arranged by American sports broadcaster, ESPN (with coverage also shown on its sister network ABC) returns to Aspen, Colorado’s Buttermilk Mountain from January 22-26. Inviting the top Ski, Snowboard, Snowmobile and Snow Bike athletes to compete in 18 different disciplines over four days of the world’s premier winter extreme action sports, music and festival.
About Special Olympics: Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities. Through year-round athletic training and competition in 26 Olympic-type sports for more than 2.25 million children and adults with intellectual disabilities in more than 150 countries, Special Olympics has created a model community that celebrates people’s diverse gifts. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. There is no cost to participate in Special Olympics. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org.
About Special Olympics Indiana: Special Olympics Indiana provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in over 21 Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, reaching over 14,000 athletes across Indiana. The organization receives no federal or state appropriated funds, is not a United Way agency and relies entirely on corporate, civic and individual donations. For more information about Special Olympics Indiana, call 317-328-2000 or visit www.soindiana.org.
About Special Olympics Indiana – Ripley Ohio Dearborn Counties: Special Olympics Indiana-Ripley Ohio Dearborn Counties is part of the international network of accredited Special Olympics Programs that reach more than 4 million athletes with intellectual disabilities worldwide. The program provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in Track and Field, Aquatics, Basketball, Bowling, Bocce, Corn Toss, Powerlifting, Softball, Snowshoeing, Alpine Skiing, Snowboarding, Flag Football, Volleyball, and Equestrian. Reaching approximately 256 children and adults with intellectual disabilities, the program is managed by a group of volunteers who give time to a program they believe in. The program relies entirely on corporate, civic, and individual donations on the local level. For more information about Special Olympics Indiana - Ripley Ohio Dearborn Counties, call program coordinator Greg Townsend at 812-584-6861, email info@soindiana-rod.org  or visit www.soindiana-rod.org.