Westchester teen collects trophies for Special Olympic athletes

May 15, 2013 2:23:14 PM PDT
When the Hudson Valley Special Olympics kick off this weekend, there will be a new twist.

Every single competitor will receive a trophy, win or lose.

And it's all because of the incredible efforts of one local teenager.

If you ever received a trophy as a kid, you know how much you loved holding that shiny statue and seeing it in your room.

Brendan Murphy thought Special Olympics athletes would enjoy that feeling as well.

"Whenever you see a trophy you won, it just feels great," said Murphy.

Usually, winners at the Hudson Valley Special Olympics receive a medal or ribbon, but this year, thanks to Brendan, all the participants will receive a trophy.

He began his initiative by collecting trophies, and in an effort to make sure each one looks similar, he reconfigures them and adds a custom-made sticker.

And there's more: Brendan is a skiier, but Sleepy Hollow doesn't have a ski team.

So for $10, people can sponsor a trophy.

He needs about $6500 to start the team, and he's on his way. But he's most looking forward to handing out the trophies.

"I'll be able to see all my hard work going to something, and I'll be there to see it," Brendan said.

At a nearby track, where 500 athletes are preparing for the Hudson Valley Special Olympics, they're thrilled about what lies ahead.

"Brendan Murphy is one of the kindest people I've ever met," said Special Olympics athlete Molly Leavey. "No one has ever done anything that nice for us before."

"No matter how they finish in the race, they're going to walk away that day as a star," said Sleepy Hollow high school coach Kim Kaczmarek.

And Brendan collected more than enough trophies for this Saturday's Special Olympics.

So he's considering growing the initiative to give trophies to Special Olympics in other countries.