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Local athletes hailed as 'superheroes' after competing in Special Olympics

Local athletes hailed as 'super heroes' after competing in Special Olympics (ABC7)

Novie Craven and Michael Schmidt returned home to the D.C. area on Wednesday after competing in the Special Olympics summer games in Seattle.

“It was the experience of a lifetime,” Craven said.

Twenty-nine-year-old Craven was sporting a few awards around her neck that she earned while playing bocce.

“On the way back, I was clankin’ through the airport and people are like, ‘Why is she clankin’?’” She can thank her bronze and gold medals for that.

Twenty-four-year-old Schmidt earned a ribbon in basketball. He says he’ll never forget making a three point shot.

But getting the awards wasn’t the only big moment for the duo. If you walk through the Reagan National Airport, you might notice the hometown heroes on a big screen.

“There you are, Mike!” said Nancy Schmidt, Michael’s mom, while pointing to the screen.

The two were chosen to be superheroes in a national ad campaign put on by United Airlines.

“When I saw me and my friend, I’m like, ‘We did it. We’re here. We did it!’” Schmidt said.

“They may be hometown athletes, but when they come to the airport, when they fly on United, they are our superheroes,” said Kimberly Gibbs, Spokesperson for United Airlines

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