Christopher “Chris” Blanton of Manhattan, Kansas, has coached Special Olympics athletes for more than 10 years in athletics, basketball, softball and volleyball. In basketball and volleyball, he has competed as a Unified partner. He will represent Special Olympics USA as a Unified partner in volleyball. In 2022, Chris competed with his Unified volleyball team in the Special Olympics USA Games. He refers to Special Olympics as his family, one that has helped him to increase his confidence and feel accepted.
As his school district’s Mandt System® trainer, Chris teaches behavioral crisis interaction training. In this position, he has worked to reinvigorate an established program, reaching more staff, students and parents. Chris spends his free time finishing projects around his house and property and practices twice weekly with his volleyball team. He looks forward to watching a global community come together in the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Chris and his teammates.