Grant Goodman Rises Over Down Syndrome for State Games Gold (part 1).

By: Louis Montesi, III
By: Louis Montesi, III

In Enterprise's Shotokan Karate gym, 13-year old Grant Goodman stands out among the other students. That's because he was born with down syndrome. Regardless, Grant's struggles never stopped his love of sports. When he watched Karate for the first time, he was immediately interested.

"When we were having our class, Mike (Gran'ts instructor) was having his karate class go on," said Grant's mother, Lynese Goodman. "The first day I brought him, he said, 'I want to do that.'"

"Been with him now for a little over a year, and I tell you: he's one of the most faithful kids I got to come to class and to show up," said "Ivey Shotokan" gym owner Mike Ivey. "He very rarely misses."

Ivey said Grant's first few weeks of karate were no different than any other student, though there were frustrations.

"I found out after a couple of weeks time that he learns really well by doing what others do. Somebody in front of him can be doing something, and he can do the exact same thing if he can see them."

And it worked well, but after Grant learned basic blocks and his first collection of moves -a katta- Ivey needed a way to keep Grant's eyes forward... so he got creative.

"You know he's got a bandana that says 'Ivey Shotocon'" said Ivey. "So we put it over his eyes to make him look straight where he's supposed to look. And ever since then, he's done like he's supposed to.

-Part 2 of Grant's incredible story will run Friday at 6:00 and 10:00 on Newscenter 11 sports.

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