By Andrea Lucia


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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – A figure skater from Plano will represent the United States at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria next month.

It’s a goal Ian Rawn set almost twenty years ago. He was watching the 1998 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Competition in Japan, when his parents remember he made a prediction.

“He said, ‘I’m going to do that one day, and I’m going to do it on the world stage’,” recalls his mother, Cindy Rawn. But eleven years passed before he started lessons. At first, he says, not everyone believed he belonged on the ice.

“I have… it’s called Down Syndrome,” explains Ian. “There are some people who would say things to people like me.”

He says even he had moments of self-doubt in the beginning. But today, those nerves have long since melted away.

When he’s skating, he feels graceful. “Graceful. Powerful. And, it’s amazing,” Ian said.

“When I know he’s getting ready to jump, like my body changes position,” his mother said. “You hold your breath for a split second to make sure he lands.”

When he does fall, he doesn’t let disappointment linger.

“You pick yourself up and you keep going,” says Ian.

Last year, he took a leap and applied for a spot on the US Special Olympics Figure Skating team. His parents recorded him as he opened an envelope revealing his acceptance. Ian jumped in the air and danced with joy.

“It was overwhelming,” he recalls. “I have worked so hard to achieve goals and dreams.”

“You always hear about people who their dream comes true… To watch it be your own child, it’s just a remarkable,” says his mother.

“Ian surprises us constantly. We learned early on, don’t set limits on Ian. Just let the limits come if they’re gonna come,” says his father, Jeff Rawn.

In two and a half weeks, Ian will compete in Austria – achieving that goal he set so long ago.

“I can’t believe I’m actually going!”