WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. - Any parent is proud of their children's accomplishments, but when that child has special needs there are more challenges to overcome.
We found a 13-year-old autistic boy who, in just three short years, has become number one in his sport -- not just any sport, but ATV racing.
Chris Furches and his mother sit on the couch and watch as he competes in the rather intense sport of ATV racing.
Chris has come a long way in racing and a long way in his short 13 years. He's autistic along with other mental disabilities, and this year he has accomplished something remarkable: he's the number one youth champion. "He just showed natural talent. It was unreal to see that come from him, especially since he doesn't have a clue what's going on," his father Tim said.
But he loves to race. It's not to win, but just to race. "He showed a true talent and a love for it. It didn't matter if he came in first or if he came in last, most times it was last. He got lapped but he had a smile on his face. He just loves the sport," his mother Stephanie says.
It's a sport that's intense and dangerous. "It's dangerous, but if you've got the right gear on, that's what's important. With his disability, I just didn't want him out there getting hurt," Tim said.
Somewhere along the line the fun sport turned to competition. The walls of his room are covered with his accomplishments, and Sunday night he will receive the number '1' for his ride instead of his current 47. Will he change it?
"I like 47, but I might change it probably. I might," Chris said.
Being number '1' is great but he just loves racing and loves the sport. And like a true racer, he likes to thank his sponsors. The sport has turned things around for his parents. "We owe a lot of it to the sport and to the community in the sport. They have embraced him. They didn't treat him as a child with a disability. They knew something was different but they didn't treat him that way and we're thankful for the motocross community," his mother said.
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