Special Olympics Athletes of Month: Powers, Sutton bring enthusiasm, drive to their sports

Chris Powers and Austin Sutton were honored as the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Special Olympics Athletes of the Month at Monday’s press luncheon.

Powers recently won three gold medals in swimming competition and was on a silver medal team at the Santa Barbara Special Olympics basketball tournament at UCSB.

Powers is noted for his upbeat attitude.

“He’s very out there and emotional,” SBART board member Aaron Brown said. “I think he gives out more hugs than Santa on Christmas. The guy gives out hugs like no other.”

Sutton has found joy playing golf.

Santa Barbara Special Olympics started a golf program this year and Sutton is one of 20 participating.

Coach Richard Morrison said Sutton comes to every practice and is very coachable.

“He’s new to golf and he’s made a lot of progress,” Morrison said. “He’s going to keep progressing because he loves golf and he works at it. He’s a great representative for our program.”