Indiana Special Olympics athlete is only 2nd to qualify for Boston Marathon

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Hoosier Special Olympian qualified for the 2019 Boston Marathon, making him only the second in history to do so.

Andrew Peterson, 24, was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and has permanent brain damage. But, he’s overcoming adversity one step at a time. To qualify for the Boston Marathon is an exceptional accomplishment. To be the fastest Special Olympics athlete to qualify is extraordinary. Andrew is nothing short of either.

“I practice six days a week and that I can run with people that are better than me,” he explained what makes him so fast.

Authorities found Andrew abandoned by his mother as an infant and left in the care of his 2-year old sister. Craig Peterson adopted Andrew, his sister Ashley and two younger brothers.

“They were found alone, and it was Ashley who was feeding Andrew broken pieces of a Popsicle to keep him hydrated when he was extremely dehydrated,” Craig Peterson said.

“School was always extremely difficult for Andrew but we found out early on that Andrew liked to run.”

So, Craig said encouraged his son. “I gave him a challenge and said you can’t stop. He didn’t stop.”

Andrew runs around 50 to 60 miles a week, two marathons a year, three half-marathons and countless 5K runs. Just this past weekend, he participated in the Caribbean Christmas Half Marathon in Carmel. Scott Fussell was a race official.

“We watched this blistering pace start off at the beginning of the race and we were thinking, how is he going to maintain that speed for 13.1 miles,” Fussell said.

Andrew didn’t just maintain his pace, he won the race, averaging 6 minutes and 15 seconds a mile.

“This sport is seldomly about the running. It’s about somebody’s journey,” Fussell said.

A journey Andrew runs full speed ahead.

“I just want to make a difference out there,” he said.

GoFundMe page

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Andrew with airfare, hotel accommodations and food while in Boston.


Shoe art by Kokomo native stolen from northern Indiana museum

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WISH) — A shoe by an Indiana native was stolen Saturday from a northern Indiana art museum.

South Bend Museum of Art is seeking help to find the thief of a shoe from the piece titled “Welcome Knives,” part of an exhibit by Kokomo native Chris Francis that’s traveled to other U.S. museums. His work has been described as wearable architecture.

The shoe disappeared between 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday while the museum was open. The museum staff and city police are reviewing surveillance video from the Century Center to gain a lead. South Bend’s show called “Chris Francis: Modern Bespoke 21st Century Shoe Art” is in the downtown Century Center through April 5.

Francis, who grew up in Kokomo and now lives in Los Angeles, said in a statement that he was “saddened to be informed that someone has chosen to steal the piece ‘Welcome Knives’ from the exhibition. The shoes exhibited are all documented and catalogued works of art that have shown in many museums. Every shoe in the exhibition is one of a kind, with no others in existence making them very different than shoes we find in stores.”

Francis has created shoes for runway shows and for celebrities, including Lady Gaga and the members of Kiss and The Sex Pistols.

His work was displayed late last year on the Purdue University campus.

Anyone with information was asked to call the South Bend Police Department at (574) 235.9201 or contact the South Bend Museum of Art via email at, or through the museum’s social media accounts: Facebook, @SouthBendMuseumofArt; Twitter, @southbendart; Instagram, @southbendart.