His co-workers describe him as friendly and always smiling, but Turner Place employee Ben Norris was all competition on Monday as he competed, and won, a gold medal in the Special Olympics.
Norris competed in three different events in PyeongChang, South Korea, winning the gold in the Super G with a winning time of 49 seconds. The Super G is a type of Alpine skiing that focuses on speed, compared to events like the slalom, which focus on technicalities.
“This has really been a dream come true for Ben and I am sure a life changing experience for him,” said B.J. Norris, his mother and a Virginia Tech employee.
Norris’ dad, Stan Norris, has been teaching Ben and his twin brother how to ski since they were 12 years old. Now, 22, Norris had been practicing for the Special Olympics at local resorts Wintergreen, WinterPlace Ski Resort, and Appalachian Ski Mountain.
The Special Olympics is the second largest sporting event in the world, with almost 2,400 competitors. Team USA had 151 members who competed against 112 countries.
Though his co-workers at Turner Place could not be there to cheer him on, Assistant Director for Turner Place John Barrett said that they were “showing him support in every way (we) can.”
Before the competition, fellow employees wore red, white, and blue to honor and support their co-worker.
Barrett, who has corresponded with the family, said Norris is looking forward to coming back to work and enjoying American food.
Follow this writer on Twitter @CAustinCT