Deputy-Son Duo Wins Tennis Gold

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By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- "I played a lot of tennis. I did forehand and backhand and watched the ball," says John Doudoukjian,IIII, who won a gold medal at the 2014 National Special Olympics.

At 16 years old, John Doudoukjian, III holds both a silver and gold medal for his performance in the National Special Olympics.

"I like gold the best," says Doudoukjian

The silver, was a solo win.

"I'm looking at the ball going over the net, I'm not looking at the fence because looking at the fence is like this. I'm looking at the court, it's like this," says Doudoukjian

The gold, though, was a team effort with his dad, Richland County Master Sergeant John Doudoukjian, Junior.

"To me, it takes something very special to be a parent where you have a special needs child. The attention they need is probably more than any of us can ever imagine," says Sheriff Leon Lott, Richland County.

Sheriff Lott has watched Doudoukjian with both his sons, both with special needs.

"After having my two sons, I look at my wife and say who would want regular kids? Because I like them so much better," says John Doudoukjian, Jr.

His youngest son also plays tennis, but for this year's national competition he was the duo's assistant coach on the sideline. He offered encouragement all the way through and up to the very moment they won gold.

"That we had done it. I had always dreamed of going to the USA games and winning a gold medal and getting up on the podium,"says Doudoukjian, Jr.

"It's outstanding to see all these young people participate in the Special Olympics in South Carolina and in other places, but for one of our own to go with his son and when a gold..It's just tremendous for all of us here,' says Sheriff Lott.

The father/son duo is now training for the Fall games.

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