Shrewsbury’s Ryan Dixon to be inducted into Special Olympics Hall of Fame

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Shrewsbury’s Ryan Dixon to be inducted into Special Olympics Hall of Fame
Ryan smiles for a photo with a basketball in front of a Special Olympics sign. (Photo/Submitted)

SHREWSBURY – Since he was nine, Shrewsbury resident Ryan Dixon has been a Special Olympics athlete. Now, 28 years later, he will be inducted into the Special Olympics Hall of Fame next June. 

Ryan said he was “shocked” when he found out he would be inducted into the Hall of Fame

The Dixons said the Special Olympics have bonded them as a family. His mom, Diane, said Ryan’s brothers Sean and Eric, join in on the Special Olympics games. 

“We’ve kind of roped them [their family] all in, but we really didn’t have to try because they all just love it,” Diane said. 

Basketball, soccer and bowling are Ryan’s favorite Special Olympics sports to play, and he enjoys bowling in his free time. 

Being a Special Olympics athlete has allowed Ryan to travel across the country and world. He’s traveled to Nebraska for a soccer tournament and Iowa to play bocce. His basketball team participated in the Special Olympics World Championships in Abu Dhabi.

“We won silver medals and I made a lot of friends,” Ryan said. 

To stay in top shape for international competitions, Ryan said he runs 5Ks to raise money for the Special Olympics. Ryan also participates in the Polar Plunge. 

Ryan estimates that he raised about $6,000 for the Special Olympics last year. 

Ryan Dixon: ‘The Mayor of Shrewsbury’ 

Ryan is a Shrewsbury High School graduate and his mom, Diane, said former classmates and Shrewsbury residents call him “the mayor of Shrewsbury.” 

In addition to being friends with police and firefighters that he graduated from high school with, Diane said he is good friends with fellow alumni Jawad Yatim, who owns the Massachusetts Pirates, which is a professional indoor football team in Worcester. 

During his time as a Colonial, Ryan played basketball and was the mascot for the cheerleading team. 

His father, Steve, said that he is thankful Shrewsbury has a Special Olympics program and athletic facilities for the athletes to practice at. 

“Shrewsbury is very good to us,” Diane said. “We don’t look for venues to play basketball or soccer or anything. We are extremely lucky in Shrewsbury.” 

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