Matthew Maag

Matt Maag of Alton recently experienced one of the biggest accomplishments of his young life when he carried the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America torch through the streets of Belleville.

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Maag, a softspoken remarkable athlete, has become an ambassador for Special Olympics around the area because of his engaging, positive personality. He recently graduated from Alton High School and now will be attending Lewis and Clark Community College in the fall.

He said he believes Special Olympics is such an important national effort. He participates in swimming, track, basketball and bowling. He won the state championship last summer in the 25-meter race and was state champ in bowling in 2012.

Lisa Maag said when Matthew started out with Special Olympics she didn’t know how good an athlete he was, but she quickly figured it out.

“As he progressed, I know the coach was just amazed at his dedication for whatever task he did,” Lisa said. “He was in National Honor Society at school.”

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Lisa Maag said he works hard at everything he touches and was also a percussionist for the Alton High School Marching 100.

“I guess his love is wood working, drawing and painting,” his mom said. “He is very artistic.”

Matt Maag said through Special Olympics, he has been able to meet many new friends.

“I think Special Olympics brings people together and it keeps you positive,” he said. “I think Special Olympics competition is very important. I have met a whole new group of friends through it.”

Matt Maag has more Special Olympics medals than probably almost anyone else, but he always keeps it in perspective and remains kind to others, his mom says.

“Matt is probably the kindest person I know,” Lisa said. “He is most thoughtful and very conscientious. Everybody loves him.”

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