(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The 2022 St. Joseph Sports Commission Hall of Fame Class was inducted Sunday night.
Ten individuals, one team and a Special Olympics Athlete of the Year.
For more than 30 years, Tanner Hrenchir has thrived in the world of Special Olympics.
“It gives him a place where he can compete on his level. You know, in school, he didn't really have that. He got to be the sports manager of the teams, but he never got to be on the teams. He gets to compete. He gets to play alongside his friends just like he saw people do in school, you know, he didn't get to do it and I think he just loves that,” Tanner’s sister Katie Lyle says.
Hrenchir started competing at nine years old, playing a variety of sports track and field bowling basketball, flag football, softball, although his sister says softball might not have been his favorite.
“When he was playing second base and like the ball got hit up in the air. And he didn't move for it and it landed like two feet away, you know? And I remember my dad going Tanner, what are you doing? He's like, how was thinking about catching that ball,” Lyle says.
Later in his Special Olympics career, he picked up powerlifting, a sport that has taken him to new places.
“He got to see himself improve like by the numbers. I think he really likes that. And he saw his body change. You know, it was awesome for him,” Lyle says.
Hrenchir made it to the 2010 National Games taking home silver and bronze medals. But this year, he also made it to Orlando for the games bringing him four medals, including a gold medal.
“It was awesome. I noticed a lot for me and my family came to see me to cheer me on,” Hrenchir says.
Hrenchir has won a lot of games and events over the years. But that's not all the Special Olympics are to him. It’s a family that competes together and loves each other.
“I wanted to congratulate you to be inducted into the hall of fame,” Tanner’s friend Charlie Phillips says. “I'm so proud of you. Can’t wait to see you in the hall of fame. Congrats bud.”
For all of his success and dedication to Special Olympics over the years, Tanner Hrenchir, the 2022 Special Olympic area Athlete of the Year,
“It is going to mean the world to him and we're just so blessed and honored. You know that he's gonna get this award,” Lyle says.