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Perham's Ryan Schattschneider wins Special Olympics Minnesota 2009 Outstanding Male Athlete Award

Ryan Schattschneider of Perham (left) is presented the Minnesota Special Olympic 2009 Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year Award at the Distinguished Service Awards last week. Presenting the award is Perham's Jeff Fritz, a Special Olympics athlete and Global Messenger. Photo by Jim Mims Photography

Ryan Schattschneider of Perham was honored as the 2009 Special Olympics Minnesota Outstanding Male Athlete at the annual Distinguished Service Awards banquet in Bloomington Saturday, Jan. 16. The Distinguished Service Awards recognize Special Olympics Minnesota athletes, coaches, volunteers, sponsors and family members who give an incredible amount of support, enthusiasm and time to the organization.

Schattschneider joined the Perham Special Olympics team when it started in 2002 and participates in five of the six sports the team offers: track and field, bowling, basketball, golf and bocce. He's involved in the community, has respect for his coaches and teammates, and is always willing to lend a helping hand whether that means cheering on a fellow athlete or cleaning up after an event.

Schattschneider competed in bocce as a member of Team USA at the 2007 Special Olympics World Games in Shanghai, China. Most recently, he took on the challenge of becoming an athlete coach through Special Olympics Minnesota's Athlete Leadership Programs.

"With the help of people like Ryan, Special Olympics Minnesota is able to bring communities together," said Dave Dorn, Special Olympics Minnesota president. "This award is our small way of recognizing Ryan's amazing contribution to our programs."

The 2010 Distinguished Service Awards banquet was held at the Minneapolis Airport Hilton in Bloomington.

Special Olympics Minnesota offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round sports training and competition. Through Special Olympics' athletic, health and leadership programs, people with intellectual disabilities transform themselves, their communities and the world.