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Midland Man Brings Home Gold From Special Olympic World Games

A Central Michigan man is coming home a hero after taking gold at the Special Olympics World Games.

Joe Kaczynski is from Midland.

He’s been involved with the Special Olympics for years.

Joe traveled to Austria for the World Games where he competed in Cross Country Skiing, with his entire family by his side.

They now have a whirlwind of memories from the world games.

For Joe Kaczynski and his tight knit family, being there for each other is part of daily life. It’s something they learned early on after finding out Joe has a learning disability.

"Joe say purple and you could see he’s trying but nothing would come out and he got so frustrated he jumped off the couch ran upstairs and I told Mary something isn’t right," Jerry said.

But Joe wouldn’t let it slow him down. He excels in several sports, including running and cross country skiing. At the beginning of November Joe found out he would go to Austria for the Special Olympic World Games. He spent his time mingling and competing with the other athletes.

"It doesn’t take a lot to make them happy very simple things make them happy and they can really appreciate life," Jerry said.

But on the course, his brother John and his tough battle with cancer stayed there through every stride.

"I just want to make for sure that when my legs are tired and burning I want to make sure he felt the same way I did in that so I want to make for sure my training in inspired by him," Joe said.

And when Joe won the gold medal for the 5k, the people who mean the most to him, were there cheering him on.

"We love you. We are very proud of you and we always say you are our superman," Mary said.

John is in remission right now, and Joe is focusing on being the best man in his wedding.

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