A New Hanover County man's passion for sports earned him a ticket overseas to compete in the Special Olympic summer games. His nickname is Smiley. Now Kent Blue has even more reason to smile. He recently returned from China where he competed in the Special Olympics. Kent said, "I like bocce, it's a nice thing to play." Bocce is Kent's favorite sport and one for which he has two fourth place and one fifth-place ribbon to show off. Laurie Snyder is Kent's supported living coordinator. She has known Kent for eight years. She helps him with his daily skills like paying the bills and grocery shopping. She helped him prepare for his big trip. Snyder said, "We had a map and it's in his bedroom, where he pointed out where Shanghai was and every day we'd tell him out far he'd have to go." Snyder says she couldn't be more proud of Kent. "We had some concerns about him flying all that way and he proved everybody wrong. He just went out there, had a great time and we're just so proud of him," Snyder said. Kent's a man of few words, but his smile says it all. Kent has only been home for two days and will soon start training for the state bocce tournament. Then it's time to prepare for basketball season.
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