Local athlete returns home a hero

Blaine Fuller returned home June 21 from competing in the Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey as a part of the Iowa Team.

Upon his arrival a sign by Midwest One Bank in Conrad blinked in glowing letters, “Welcome home Blaine!”

This year was his first competing at a national level but the swimmer from Conrad made waves at the event last month.

Winning silver in the 4 x 25-yard relay and the 25-yard backstroke, as well as bronze in the 100-yard freestyle and the 50-yard freestyle.

With times of 32.63 seconds in the backstroke, 46.66 seconds in the 50-yard and a time of 1:50.93 in the 100-yard.

Fuller has not yet received his time for the 4 x 25.

“It was a lot of fun, I got to meet a lot of new friends, see the Statue of Liberty, go to a baseball game and a fun carnival,” Fuller said. “I got to see a lot of things I hadn’t been able to see yet and I had a blast.”

Fuller has been competing in the Special Olympics for nine years.

In recent years he’s participated in basketball skills as well as golf.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to go to the World Games someday,” Fuller said.

To show support, Casey’s stores statewide have been selling soda cups with the Iowa Team on them since Memorial Day.

The offer ends Labor Day but a parentage of the purchase goes to Special Olympics Iowa.

Fuller has been working at Casey’s in Conrad for almost four years.

“The community has been beyond supportive of him,” said Kandy Fisher, Blaine’s mother. “Casey’s has done fundraisers for him and the community has just backed him up on everything.”

Fuller is determined to fulfill his dream of competing in the World Games.

His mother even mentioning that working out is Blaine’s idea of fun.

He has a great determination and a wonderful attitude on life.

“Never let anybody say you can’t do something,” Fuller said.