DENVER - As part of Denver7’s commitment to bring you inspirational stories of Special Olympics Colorado athletes, we’re proud to announce the addition of two reporters to our Denver7 team.
It doesn't take long to realize there is more to Connor Long than just being an accomplished athlete.
His dad said Connor's view of himself is his most inspiring aspect.
"Connor doesn't think having Down Syndrome is a disability, [but] he does think his inability to eat gluten is a disability."
Yep, Connor is also part comedian and is excited to join Denver7 as a new reporter doing stories on the people who make Special Olympics Colorado so great.
"Are you excited to get out into the community and tell people's stories?" asked Denver7 anchor Eric Kahnert. Long, full of confidence, fist-bumps Kahnert and says, "bring it, bro!"
And Connor is the first to admit that he wouldn't be where he is today, if it weren't for the unwavering support of his family.
"We travel a lot, we wrestle him out of bed early in the mornings a lot," said Long's dad.
It's a commitment that's well worth it, considering the life skills Special Olympics Colorado provides its athletes. "A real powerful sense of challenge that turns into confidence, and they take that confidence into their daily lives and the world and it's pretty cool," his dad said.
So what's Long's favorite part of being involved with Special Olympics Colorado?
"[To] make good friends. Oh, speaking of that," said Long before he started signing an old Scout song, "Make New Friends." "So you're a singer, too?" asked Kahnert. "Yes, I am," Long said.
He's also a song-writer, swimmer, basketball and soccer player, poet, and an assistant to the manager at a Louisville Mexican restaurant.
That's right -- this 21-year-old has big dreams, a larger-than-life personality and a great outlook on life.
"I believe that some day, those with intellectual disabilities will change the world.”
"Haven't you already started to change the world?," asked Kahnert. "Yes," Long said.