MICHIGAN – Cody Florey from Monroe was named the “2015 Special Olympics Michigan Inspirational Athlete of the Year” on Friday, May 29 in front of 3,000 people at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant. The announcement was made during Closing Ceremony for the 2015 Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Games presented by SpartanNash.
“Wow! This is a great honor for me,” said Cody after learning he had been named the Inspirational Athlete of the Year. “I’m proud! Everyone should do their responsibilities, work hard and just keep doing how we do it!”
Cody has been involved with Special Olympics Michigan for 10 years. Despite the difficulties of growing up nonverbal and living with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Cody never let his differences define him. As a sophomore, he tried out for the Monroe High School JV Basketball team and made it. Through his involvement with Special Olympics Michigan, he was able to go from being nonverbal to opening up and developing remarkable communication skills, teamwork and athletic abilities. Cody has now competed in hockey, gymnastics, bocce, bowling, basketball, weightlifting, powerlifting and soccer at local, regional, state and national levels.
Special Olympics has given Cody the opportunity to grow both athletically and socially. He encourages his teammates to work hard and always makes sure they are having fun. Cody can always be counted on to try his hardest, practice excellent sportsmanship and give 110 percent in everything he does. Cody also participates in Special Olympics Unified poly hockey and basketball at Monroe High School and acts as a mentor to his teammates.
Coaches and teammates have said that Cody is a “true inspiration” to all that he comes in contact with.
Winners of the “Inspirational Athlete” award must exemplify the athlete oath, “Let me win; but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
Florey will have the honor of running the last leg of the torch run into Kelly/Shorts Stadium to light the Flame of Hope at the 2016 State Summer Games Opening Ceremony on May 26, 2016. He will also be presented with a Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) jacket at Closing Ceremony and become an honorary member of LETR. We congratulate Cody Florey on this accomplishment.