Bismarck athlete wins silver in Special Olympics World Winter Games

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BISMARCK, ND - Athletes from 105 countries competed in the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

One athlete from Bismarck brought home a silver medal in cross- country skiing.​

Dave Johs has a drawer full of medals at home...And 30 years of competing under his belt.

But to him, the Olympics is about more than a win.

"Had alot of fun meeting new friends." - Dave Johs, Special Olympics athlete.

Johs' win in Austria... bringing home a silver in cross country skiing... isn't his first accomplishment.

He's competed in bowling, swimming, and has been to other national and international competitions.

"He's gained confidence that he can do things. That he can accomplish things," said Dean Johs, brother.

So cross-country was another item on his list... A challenge that he surmounted after practice and hard work.

"When we started he was kind of tentative on going down hills in particular. And he had trouble going up hills. And he got a little frustrated when he fell down and stuff like that. And we worked on we have to get up."- Frank Laqua, coach.

And it was getting up that led him to his win in Austria.

"I was crying tears of joy. I was so excited for him. I said 'Yeah, way to go Dave!'"- Tiffany Grannis, girlfriend.

Johs' mother enrolled him in North Dakota Special Olympics when he was in 8th grade.

His brother says it has been an uphill journey ever since.

"I think it means more to him that he is involved and he is included.

That he can accomplish more things in society that seem to be pushed to the rift.. To the side," said Dean Johs, brother.

Johs's ski coach says he may have helped him take off, but he did it all on his own.