Brett Harper named SOMO Athlete of the Year
All of the athletes below were recognized for their outstanding contributions to Special Olympics Missouri from their respective areas at the SOMO Annual Awards Luncheon June 26 in Jefferson City. Each year, Special Olympics Missouri salutes those who have made significant contributions to the Special Olympics movement. Each area nominee is submitted for statewide recognition, and the overall winners were also announced at the SOMO Awards Luncheon.
Brett Harper has been participating in Special Olympics since elementary school. Brett graduated last year from Webb City High School and continues to compete. Brett has competed in basketball, bowling and track and field events. He even joined in the new E-Sports program. Brett’s passion is running….lots of running. Brett advocated for himself with his teachers and coaches to be able to participate on the schools cross-country team. Brett was also a member of Team Missouri at the 2018 USA Games in Seattle competing in the 400 M run, 800 M run and the long jump. Brett also attended a Missouri Association Student Council Leadership Program. Brett and his family are also supportive of area fundraising events.
In 2019, Brett was nominated by the Missouri Law Enforcement Torch Run as an athlete runner for the World Games Final Leg. Only ten athletes were to be selected for this honor and Brett WAS selected as a runner for the 2022 Kazan Final Leg. Brett is working hard and training for his Final Leg journey.
In his athlete runner nomination, Sergeant Shannon Crouch of Missouri State Highway Patrol describes his friend, Brett “The Champ” Harper, as an extremely dedicated athlete. Brett is a sports enthusiast and that he can always be seen at community sporting events greeting his many friends with open arms to hug and a huge smile on his face. Shannon states that Brett is well known by community law enforcement and is considered a “true hero” in their eyes. Brett’s super star status goes beyond law enforcement. In 2018, the Webb City High School student body overwhelmingly voted him the Homecoming King of the 2018 Football season.
Sergeant Crouch believes that Brett always represents the core values of Special Olympics in a manner, which will be used as a role model for future athletes. As an area Special Olympics staff member, I would agree with Sergeant Crouch, Brett is a role model and an inspiration to many within our organization and the community.
We are all very proud of Brett’s achievements to date and look forward to his journey on the Final Leg in Kazan. We know he will be a great representative for Missouri. Brett Harper is truly an OUTSTANDING ATHLETE and young man!