Central Michigan University Student Making an Impact One Athlete at a Time

By Kalynne Defever

Central Michigan University student Scott Thrun, 21, from Haslett, Michigan has been volunteering with Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) since last year and hasn't stopped since.

Scott continues to volunteer for SOMI because he loves seeing the smiles on the athletes faces whether they are finishing a race or receiving medals or ribbons. At last year's State Winter Games Scott met Seth Denison from Area 8 (Eaton and Ingham Counties) and they became instant friends. "We found out that we were from the same area so we immediately connected over that," said Scott. This year Seth saw him while they were eating lunch and ran up to Scott and gave him a huge hug like no time had passed.

Scott volunteered at the sledding hill and Seth would come sled for hours with him. They would talk and race down the hill over and over again. "Interacting with the athletes and watching them interact with each other, can teach you so much about yourself and how to treat others and that is exactly what it did for me," said Scott. "This is something that you cannot learn anywhere else."

Scott doesn't just enjoy seeing the athletes smile but he also wants all the athletes to know they are not alone in the world. "I think some people or cultures pity the athletes or don't give them the time of day. I want them to know that there's someone out there who won't judge them or act differently toward them based on what they can or cannot do," said Scott.
Scott has shown how he feels to numerous athletes over the years through his sincere personality. He plans to continue to volunteer for Special Olympics Michigan and impact one athlete at a time.