The ‘X’ factor: Special Olympics athlete headed to X-Games on way to Austria

Special Olympics Indiana - Ripley Ohio Dearborn Counties’ athlete, Chris Perdue of Osgood, is snowboarding in ESPN’s X Games Aspen.

The X Games will take place from Jan. 26, to Jan. 29 on Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colorado. Coverage of the X Games can be viewed on ESPN and ABC.

While training to compete for the 2017 World Winter Games Austria taking place in March, Perdue was nominated by his Team USA coach to compete in the X Games. Special Olympics International then selected Perdue along with eight other athletes to participate in the third annual Unified Snowboarding Races and the Hannah Teter Unified Snowboard Dual Slalom.

Perdue was chosen as a talented snowboarder, as well as an outstanding representative of the Special Olympics community of athletes, to demonstrate the power of sport to promote unity and inclusion in society.

For the third consecutive year, this event will provide 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.

In December, Perdue, a student at South Ripley High School, joined the Special Olympics national team in Killington, Vt., for a week of training. It was a chance to work with Special Olympics USA coaches and bond with teammates from across the country before traveling to Austria together for the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in March.

The Games will be spread throughout Austria in Graz, Ramsau and Schladming, from March 14 to March 25. The World Games are flagship events for the Special Olympics Movement. They take place every two years, alternating between Summer and Winter Games.  The 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games are expected to bring 3.000 athletes of 110 nations to compete.

Special Olympics Indiana - ROD is currently fundraising to send Perdue to Austria. Donations can be sent to 2017 World Winter Games, 429 Manchester St., Aurora, IN 47001. Checks need to be made payable to Special Olympics Indiana.