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Special Olympics champion gets welcome back parade in hometown

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Tanner welcome home parade in Wathena

But Tanner Hrenchir of Wathena has achieved something so big, it's hard not to brag just a little bit.

(WATHENA, Ks.) You're taught to be humble but proud of your achievements throughout life, no matter how little or big those accomplishments are. But Tanner Hrenchir of Wathena has achieved something so big, it's hard not to brag just a little bit.

"I just wanted to repeat for powerlifting and I know it's close to my heart. And like, every year we train we train harder. And I'm so proud we did," Special Olympics powerlifter Tanner Hrenchir said.

Hrenchir just got back home from Orlando where he competed in the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. And bringing back with him--all the medals he won on the big stage.

"I feel great because I'm so happy to see all the Wildcat family because they're my family," Hrenchir said.

On Sunday family, friends, residents and classmates lined up main street in Wathena to welcome Tanner home.

"Coming back to this welcome home parade I mean, I didn't expect it. But I just started crying. I mean, this main street was just filled with people and to just know that he has that type of support from his hometown. I mean, I think he deserves it. He's worked so hard, you know, and we're just really proud of him," Hrenchir's sister Katie Lyle said.

Throughout his entire career as a Special Olympics athlete, he says there's been no shortage of support; everyone has his back.

"I've been doing this for 31 years. And I'm so proud for Katie for everything she does," Hrenchir said.

A huge part of that support comes from his younger sister Katie, but there's much to be noticed from his high school classmates.

"His classmates, like I always say they love their Tanner. And they support him through and through even though they've been out of high school since the year 2000," Lyle said.

And Katie says after everything Tanner has achieved, the encouragement Tanner and his family receives from their hometown is what makes all of it that much more special.

"They've just rallied around him like no other. And that gives him strength to compete. And then he gets to come back and just share it, his success with all of them," Lyle said.

Tanner also wants to make sure he mentions one more person.

"I just want to thank Susan Schafer and everything she does. And I just want to say that I got the gold and bronze and silver so we earned that," Hrenchir said.

Tanner's next sport coming up is flag football while he takes a little break from powerlifting.

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