Special Olympics: Athlete Daniel Fletcher - My9 New Jersey

Special Olympics: Athlete Daniel Fletcher

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Long Island's own Daniel Fletcher is competing this year in powerlifting at the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games New Jersey in June. His parents, Warren and Edna Fletcher, will be there every step of the way as both mom and dad and as coaches. They help coach Daniel and the entire East End Powerlifters.

"When he was born, the geneticists said well he was going to have low muscle tone and he'll probably never walk," Warren says. "And I guess he proved them wrong when he picks up 300 pounds. So it kind of tells mom and dad that he's a survivor he doesn't quit and he's going to get better and better every day."

He sure does. And on the day we caught up with him at the Hudson Valley Regional Games at West Point, Daniel did a personal best in the deadlift 305 pounds. He says he will win gold at the USA Games.

And when he's competing Daniel goes by the nickname "Apollo Creed." There's a reason for that: because the "Rocky" character is a powerful and strong. In addition to being a tremendous athlete, Daniel is also an Eagle Scout and a global messenger for Special Olympics.

"He loves talking to people. He's very social," Edna says. "And so he gets the message out about Special Olympics and what it does to him and how it's improved and enhanced his life."

His father elaborates.

"He can be walking in a supermarket and say 'Hi I'm Daniel, how you doing?' and people would be like 'Well hi, Daniel" and to, like, total strangers," Warren says. He has no inhibitions. He is willing to share himself with the world."

No matter what happens in June at the USA Games, Daniel will stay true to the Special Olympics oath: "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

"Daniel has brought more to our lives than we to his," Edna says. "In fact I worked in the field of human services and was originally going to just teach, but something swayed me in a different direction based upon what his diagnosis was initially and I wouldn't turn back the hands of time for anything."

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