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Born with Down syndrome, shy Virginia Beach teen competes in bodybuilding

Jon Atkins, 19, of Virginia Beach, works out at Houze of Champions gym in Virginia Beach under the direction of personal trainer Joe Hartfelder on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017.

“I had Jon when I was 18, and he’s taught me more than I could ever teach him,” said Jon’s mother, Lisa Dudley. “About what’s important in life. Like letting the little things go. And having patience. It’s not about how quick you can do something, but that you can get it done. He stays at it. And I could tell this was something he was really interested in.”

For the full story of Atkins’ meteoric rise to overcome his disability (Atkins has Down syndrome), read more here.


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