Special Olympics Hawaii athletes return from World Games

Nick Pang
Nick Pang
Louie Perry
Louie Perry

By Mark Carpenter

Some Hawaii heroes brought home a handful of shining memories on Wednesday.

Many were on hand at the Honolulu International Airport to celebrate the return of two Olympians who made Hawaii proud at the Summer World Games in Athens, Greece.

Nick Pang and Louie Perry were two of three athletes from Hawaii who won a combined total of seven medals for Team USA at the games.

Pang, a Waipahu resident, earned two gold medals in powerlifting and also placed fourth in the squat lift and bench press.

"It was amazing. It was great. It's so nice, I really enjoyed it for my first experience," Pang said. "I didn't want to come back home, but I'm back home and I'm glad to be in Hawaii. I'm just so excited to get the gold and to make my family happy."

Perry, a Pahoa native, garnered two medals in the 3,000-meter and 1,500-meter track and field races.

To prepare for the world event, Perry trained for over a year. Now he can't wait to finally get some rest.

"Time to relax, take it easy. Eat some local food and see my dad and my sister," Perry said.

Jennifer Bensman, of Kaneohe, was also in Athens representing Hawaii in the games.

In addition to taking first in the 100-meter freestyle, she earned silver in the 100-meter breaststroke and bronze in the 200-meter freestyle.

Bensman is scheduled to return home on a different flight.

Over 7,000 athletes from 180 nations participated in the games, 315 of which, represented Team USA.

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