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Photo courtesy of Lindsay Knight

Kodiak Special Olympics athlete Eric Mangrobang poses for a photo with trainer Lindsay Knight after returning from the USA Summer Games Saturday night.  

Eric Mangrobang, Kodiak’s silver medalist at the USA Special Olympics Summer Games in Seattle, returned home on Saturday. 

Mangrobang entered the terminal at the Kodiak Benny Benson State Airport with the three silver medals draped around his neck. 

The crowd in the airport gave Mangrobang a rousing applause. 

“You could hear his medals clacking before we could see him in the doorway,” Knight wrote in a Facebook post.

Before arriving in Kodiak, Mangrobang was interviewed by KTUU after getting off the plane in Anchorage. 

He told the reporter what he won his three medals in and that he felt “strong.” 

Mangrobang was one of two Alaskans on the powerlifting team. He grabbed silver in the squat (286 pounds), deadlift (293) and combination (738) last Thursday. He placed fourth in the bench press (160).

Team Alaska won 36 medals, including 13 gold. 

“We are so proud of Team Alaska and so thankful to those who helped make this dream a reality for our athletes,” Special Olympics Alaska President/CEO Nicolle Egan said in a press release. “It just hows that when Alaskans with intellectual and developmental disabilities are given the opportunity, they will exceed all expectations, and more importantly, will work hard to achieve their personal best.”

The USA Summer Games happens every four years. The games included more than 4,000 participants from all 50 states. 

Mangronbang, 17, has been powerlifting since 2017. He was selected for the games by winning a gold medal at the 2017 state games. 

   

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