Brookhaven man wins 4 gold medals in Special Olympics

Published 9:06 am Friday, July 6, 2018

From The Daily Leader

BROOKHAVEN — Garrett Lofton had trained for the last three years for the moment that came on Monday in Seattle, Washington.

The 22-year-old had made up his mind he wanted to compete in, and win, a powerlifting gold medal in the Special Olympics.

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The Brookhaven native made it happen as he won four gold medals in the Special Olympics powerlifting competition. 

“It was a very special moment when I realized that I had won,” Lofton said of his accomplishment. “That’s what I wanted to do when I started training, and to be able to win it was great. It was all worth it when I was able to win. It was the biggest meet of my life, and I wanted to go in and put on a show.”

Lofton said he wanted to win this so he could bring it back to his hometown and for all the people who supported him along the way.

“I have a lot of people back home supporting me, so it was important that I won it for them,” he said. “I put in a lot of work, effort and training in preparation for this meet. This was the biggest moment of my athletic career. It was amazing, and it was an awesome feeling to know that I had the whole community support and that I had a town in my corner. It was an amazing and blessed feeling.”

Craig Lofton, Garrett’s father, said he was proud of his son’s accomplishment because of how hard he had worked.

“But I’m proud too of how humble he’s been in winning this event,” said Craig Lofton. “He’s very proud of himself, but he’s very proud of every competitor up here.”

Craig Lofton said while everyone involved in the Special Olympics are competitors and want to win, they support each other at the same time.

“They are a very tight-knit group,” he said. “They’re always cheering and supporting each other.”

Garrett said he plans to defend his title for a long time and when he’s done lifting he wants to form a powerlifting team in Brookhaven.

“I plan on doing this until the doctor says I can’t do this anymore,” Garrett said. “My plan after that is to start a powerlifting team back home.”

Craig Lofton said the experience in Seattle this week has been special and one he’ll remember forever.

“The more people that hear about the Special Olympics that can have a child compete in them, the better,” Craig Lofton said. “They need to know how wonderful this experience is.”