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June 23, 2013 | Africa: Benin

Deng Wei: An Extraordinary Inspiration

By Tela Mange

Deng Wei runs out of happiness now, not out of fear.

Special Olympics Texas athlete Deng Wei didn’t grow up in Texas like many of our athletes. He is a refugee from war-torn Darfur, Sudan. As a child, Deng had to run for his life when his village was under attack. His family fled to a refugee camp and then to the U.S. in 2006. Deng is now 21 and lives happily in Houston with his mom, three brothers and one sister. He is proud to be graduating this June from Lee High School in the Houston Independent School District. Deng won two gold medals during the SOTX Summer Games. He ran the 1500m Run with a time of 4:53 and the 3000m Run with a time of 10:46. Deng also competes in traditional track competition for his high school and took home 3rd place in the bi-district track meet. Deng tells us that he loves sports, and plays soccer, basketball and bowling in addition to running track. Deng was inspiring to all that watched him on the track. He used to be forced to run for his life, but now tells us that he runs out of happiness.

About Tela Mange: Proud Special Olympics Texas staff member.
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