Special Olympics ‘a perfect fit’

Program helps Langley's Johnson Lu meet and learn from new people

Johnson Lu has competed in Special Olympics for five years. The Langley teen hopes to compete at Special Olympics BC Summer Games down the road.

Johnson Lu has competed in Special Olympics for five years. The Langley teen hopes to compete at Special Olympics BC Summer Games down the road.

While he is not competing at the 2013 Special Olympics BC Summer Games this weekend in Langley, Johnson Lu hopes to do so one day down the road.

“He is quite competitive,” said Lu’s mother, Ros Rodger.

“And he is a very social, so Special Olympics is a great fit for him.”

Lu, who turns 16 in September, is Rodger’s foster child. He came to the family as a two-week old.

With mild autism, attention deficit disorder, asthma and seizures — which are controlled by medication — Special Olympics is the perfect fit for the active and athletic Lu.

He joined the Special Olympics program about five years ago, with bowling as his introductory sport. Lu has since added ball hockey, golfing and basketball.

For Lu, competing is a way of “meeting new people and learning from them,” he said, adding that the games are always a lot of fun.

Rodger said she noticed a change in her son when he began the program.

“I think it is good for his self-esteem,” she said.

“And considering his disabilities, he is quite athletic and does reasonably well.”

Lu, who enters Grade 11 at D.W. Poppy Secondary in September, is also actively involved with Operation Trackshoes, an annual provincial sports festival for high school students with developmental disabilities.

Lu also loves cars, attending car shows every year with his dad.

“Ever since he was five, it was cars, cars, cars,” said Rodger with a laugh.

He also earns extra money by cleaning and detailing people’s vehicles.