Pasadena Special Olympian nets ESPY award for his athletic prowess, in tribute to organization's founder

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Honorary ESPY given to Pasadena Special Olympian. (KTRK)

It is the same award professional athletes receive for excellence in sports. While he may not be a household name in either basketball, soccer, bowling or tennis, he has picked up an ESPY award for his athletic prowess.

Brendan West, known to his friends and Special Olympics coaches as "Beebo," was born with a super rare genetic condition called Roberts Syndrome, which delays the development of facial features and limbs.

"God made me special," said West.

So, while he doesn't have any arms or hands, it doesn't seem to stop him from playing video games, playing on the computer and eating.

Some of West's brothers and sisters are special, too. They are also athletes.

Using their individual physical abilities, they act together as one body, calling themselves, "The dream team!" shouting in unison while they hung out in their Pasadena living room.

What began as a foster mother's mission to help children with special needs, Ann West said she knew her children would do great things -- especially Beebo.

"When I bent down and I smiled at him, his eyes danced and I knew that he was going to be a very productive human being," she said of now 21-year-old Beebo.

While he can play a number of sports and even text with his toes, it wasn't always this easy for Beebo. Being disabled also meant being left out of a lot of activities -- at least until the family joined the Special Olympics.

"The kids learn how to win, they learn how to lose," said their father Ray West. "Whatever their challenges are, they learn how to deal with them."

Now, all the West children are medalists with basketball being the family sport. Beebo uses one foot to direct his motorized wheelchair while using the other foot to dribble the ball down the court. It was that kind of coordination that also pushed his Special Olympics coaches to try tennis with him this year.

"He is the perfect kid to coach," said Special Olympics coach Jo Kiefer. "He has the right attitude and the determination is in his heart and he has the biggest smile on his face."

It is that winning attitude that recently netted Beebo a new piece of hardware to add to his medal count from his competitions with the Special Olympics. He received an honorary ESPY award, a tribute to his talent and the athletes and coaches of the Special Olympics.

"Just watch out for him because there's just no telling, the sky's the limit with Brendan, there's no telling what he's going to do next," said Coach Kiefer.

You can watch the special dedication to the Special Olympics and their founder Eunice Shriver Wednesday night during the ESPY's beginning at 7 p.m. on ABC 13.

Report a typo to the ABC13 staff


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sportsspecial olympicsespy awardsHouston
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