Thursday, November 13, 2014

Boy with Down syndrome completes epic bike ride for charity

by Tyson Shine from Yahoo News:
A 12-year-old boy with Down syndrome has helped raised thousands of dollars for the Special Olympics riding from Tasmania's east coast to Hobart.

Sporting a flat tyre, Lucah Mathiassen and his mother Kristin were part of a team of four who completed the journey with a warm welcome in the capital.

The pair and a support crew took four days to ride the 280 kilometres from St Helens in the north-east.

"[We had] 35-kilometre winds straight in the face along the east coast, that was definitely a challenge," Ms Mathiassen said.

The ride raised more than $5,000 for the Special Olympics which offers an opportunity for people with a disability to try competitive sport.

"Lucah will be involved at some point, when he's a little bit older," Ms Mathiassen said.

"Here is a single mum with her son with Down Syndrome ... wanting to do a ride for her son to be able to compete in Special Olympics, but also raising funds for us as well," Special Olympics Tasmania manager Bernadette Black said.

The charity ride was aimed at raising awareness about the event.

"We have over 500 athletes that are part of our programs," she said.

The Evandale family's dog Ivy also came along for the journey and almost collapsed when she crossed the finish line.

But Ivy just might have been looking for sympathy.

"The dog spent a lot of her time with her head out the window, whining because she wasn't running with me," Ms Mathiassen said.

Ms Black said she looked forward to seeing Lucah compete in the Special Olympics in the future.

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