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Big 12 Honors Special Olympics Athletes Of The Year
February 23, 2012
The Big 12 Conference has announced the 2011-12 Special Olympics Athletes of the Year. This year's winners are James Holder and Brett Lauren Mohammadi.

Each season, two athletes are selected among the states in the Big 12 footprint for their outstanding participation in and advocation of Special Olympics. Holder and Mohammadi will travel to Kansas City for the 2012 Phillips 66 Big 12 Basketball Championships to receive commemorative rings in an on-court presentation during the men's championship contest.

Holder has participated in Special Olympics Oklahoma for seven years. He competes in track & field, specifically distance running events and relays. He won a bronze medal in the half marathon in the 2011 World Games in Athens, Greece while earning fourth place in the 4x400-meter relay and fifth in the 3,000-meter run. At the national games in 2010, he captured medals in the 4x100-meter relay (gold) and the 10,000-meter run (bronze) while finishing fifth in the 3,000-meter run.

He was a member of the Jenks High School varsity cross country and track teams, receiving the Trojan Spirit Award during his junior and senior years and has participated in numerous events in the Tulsa area. After graduating high school, he completed course work to become a Certified Nursing Assistant and is employed at St. John's Hospital of Tulsa as a transporter.

Mohammadi has competed in Special Olympics for 14 years since she was in junior high school. She is an active member of Special Olympics Texas with Best Friends and competes in bowling, basketball, softball, track & field, bocce ball and swimming. She boasts a large collection of medals from area and state competitions.

The Special Olympics Athlete of the Year in Area 20 in 2003, Mohammadi earned that honor while in high school. She is outgoing, adventurous, enthusiastic and always supportive of the other Special Olympics athletes.

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