Name: Aaron Fournier
Hometown: Pembroke
Age: 39
Local Program: Capital Area Cougars
Sports: Alpine-Skiing, Athletics, Basketball, Powerlifting, Soccer & Swimming

In middle school, Aaron Fournier struggled to fit in. He had been told by his teachers and parents that he had to go to special classes in school. When Aaron thinks back to those days, he remembers a difficult time. “I didn’t understand,” he said. “I thought something was wrong with me and I didn’t know what or why.”

At thirteen, Aaron started participating in Special Olympics. As he began to train and compete, he met lots of other people who were like him. Aaron began to make friends and gain confidence.

Two years after starting Special Olympics Aaron was selected to represent New Hampshire at the Special Olympics World Games in New Haven, Connecticut, where he competed in athletics. Looking back on that experience now, Aaron remembers how big the games felt, “I was so young, and I remember going to Opening Ceremonies and just thinking about how huge everything was. It was so great to see that I wasn’t the only person like me – that there were lots of other people all over the world just like me. It was comforting to know that I wasn’t that different.”

Aaron represented New Hampshire at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Summer Games in Seattle as a powerlifter bringing a gold medal (bench press), one silver medal (combination)and two bronze medals (deadlift and squat) back to the Granite State.  Aaron sees powerlifting as another opportunity to break stereotypes. “When I go to lift,” he said, “I think about proving people wrong. I don’t look like a person who lifts the kind of weight that I do.”