Competitor helps struggling runner during Pasco's Special Olympics

By Leah Masuda, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, March 31, 2017, 4:44 PM EDT

A 17-year-old Pasco student is being recognized for what he did during the Pasco Special Olympics Summer Games.

  • Antonio Johnston, 17, turned to help struggling runner during race
  • Johnston trains, works part-time job, gets after school job training

Many weren’t surprised when Antonio Johnston stopped at the finish line during the 400 meter and turned back around to help a struggling runner—they said its part of his character.

“I just kept saying, ‘that’s my son right there,’ not my real son, my school son,” laughed Erica Edwards, who is Johnston’s teacher’s assistant.

“I didn’t want to cross the finish line alone, so I went back and helped her get across the line with me,” Johnston said.

Valerie Lundin has been working with Special Olympics for 33 years and said that was a top moment for her.

“As she was struggling, he just kept talking to her and was right beside her,” Lundin said.

Edwards said Johnston is a leader in the classroom and an academically bright and motivated teen.

“He’ll probably already be helping someone before I ask.”

She said he also works a part-time job on the weekends, goes to after school job training, all while getting his training in for the next Special Olympics.

Johnston did take first in the 100 meter, but isn’t against giving up a ribbon for a stranger in need.