Athens, Bradford County (WBRE/WYOU)— A Bradford County teenage boy brought home one of the highest awards an athlete can win and gave pride to his town. On Thursday, his town celebrated him and his victory in a special way.
The Athenian community honored track and field athlete Isaac Hobday for his dominating performance as he competed at the Special Olympics World Games.
A parade was held to celebrate Isaac’s victory, followed by a memorable ceremony.
For many, running is a hobby, but the hobby has quickly become an international success, with the Bradford County teenagers celebrating on Thursday.
“I’ve always loved running. That was basically my job,” Isaac told Eyewitness News.
Nineteen-year-old Isaac Hobday competed at the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin, Germany last week. He began training in earnest in his 2019 and was due to compete in the Special Olympics by 2023.
“He worked very hard. You could see in that forum that he just felt nervous. But when we got to that track, he was in his comfort zone and he was I could see that I was in complete control,” said Rebecca Roof. Bradford Sullivan Special Olympics coach/manager.
Ysaak not only competed in Berlin, but also won it, taking silver in the 5,000m and gold in the 1,500m.
His stands had fans all over Germany cheering him on every step.
Isaac’s grandmother, Dennis Hibberd, said: “Just being with him and watching him take home the silver made me feel so much more emotional when he won the gold than he did the silver. He said.
“When he walked in with that gold medal, you would think I was his mother. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes,” Roof said.
Isaac returned from Berlin with support, and the Athenian community celebrated his victory more than ever.
“I broke down crying while driving down the street and parked here. Just the support, the love shown to him,” Hibberd told 28/22 News.
A line of supporters ran through town and arrived at his alma mater, the Athens Regional High School.
“To come home and see so many people on the streets and all the vehicles participating in the parade is an incredible support for this small community,” Roof said.
The parade is just a small part of the day, which is now forever named after a special Olympian.
While enjoying the glory, Isaac couldn’t help thinking about getting back on the track.
“No, I have no days off,” said Hobday.
His family is fully supportive as he continues his journey.
“As I always tell him, set a goal, work towards it, and achieve it,” Hibberd said.
Isaac said he will continue training in hopes of returning to the Special Olympics World Games in Australia in 2027.
His grandmother and coach say they will be there every step of the way.
https://www.wkbn.com/news/pennsylvania/pa-teen-takes-home-gold-silver-in-berlin-special-olympics/ Berlin Special Olympics Gold Medalist Isaac Hobday Parade