PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Pasco County native and athlete was awarded the Special Olympics Florida “2023 Athlete of the Year” last week.

Andrew Ahearn was given the special award on Saturday during the Special Olympics Florida’s 2023 Champions Gala.

The award is given to an athlete whose life exemplifies courage, generosity, joy and athletic skill, as well as demonstrates superior leadership, dedication to teammates, sportsmanship, and a commitment to helping others.

Ahearn has been part of the Special Olympics Florida for more than 15 years, competing in the Special Olympics USA Games, the World Games and the Special Olympics European Open in Slovakia.

Pasco County’s Andrew Ahearn was chosen as Special Olympics Florida’s 2023 Athlete of the Year.  

He also regularly volunteers at the SOFL competitions and fundraisers. A press release described him as an “exemplary teammate” who’s always cheering on and encouraging his fellow athletes at each and every event.

“He is a wonderful Special Olympics Florida ambassador,” the Special Olympics Florida said in a statement.