Tim Harris – Special Olympian, restaurant owner, hugger

The London Olympics are now over and there have been many inspirational stories of athletes who have overcome odds or broken world records or achieved remarkable deeds.

But I recently came across the story of an amazing young man who has genuinely inspired me.

Tim Harris is a Special Olympian who was born with Down Syndrome.

He has competed in a wide variety of events and claims to have won more medals than Michael Phelps.

But as impressive as that may be, that’s not the most inspirational thing about Tim.

In addition to his sporting achievements and with the incredible support of his parents, Tim graduated from High School and then went to Eastern New Mexico University.

His love of hospitality led him into the restaurant industry and he is now the proud owner of “Tim’s Place,” a restaurant in his native Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Tim’s dream is to create the friendliest restaurant on Earth and with his menu of “Breakfast, Lunch and Hugs” he is well on the way.

Every customer is greeted with a hug and he has a “wall of hugs” that keeps a record of the number that Tim has given out.  It currently stands at 21,316.

And according to all reports, the food is pretty good too.

What a remarkable young man!

What a great reminder that every person has a wonderful contribution to make.

What a great reminder of the role that parents play in building belief and confidence in their children.

What a great reminder that everyone can make the world a better place.

What a great reminder that we shouldn’t be defined by what we can’t do, but by what we can!

Thanks Tim for inspiring us today and if I ever visit Albuquerque, I’ll be sure to visit for a hug and a pancake.

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