For Scott Heyman, the X stands for eXcellence

The Atlanta Maccabiah Press

In the medical field, Fragile X Syndrome is known as the leading cause of learning and developmental disabilities that is genetic. It does not, however, prevent people with this condition from becoming Olympic champions

A prime example of that is Scott Heyman, who at the age of 17 and who has Fragile X Syndrome, won three gold medals at the 1998 Georgia Special Olympics Indoors Winter Games held recently in Cobb County.

Heyman, who competed in powerlifting (Open Division), won a gold medal in the bench press and dead lift competition. In the bench press, Heyman won the gold medal with a lift of 135 lbs. His lift of 150 lbs. in the dead lift competition earned him a second gold medal. The third gold medal was awarded to him based on his combined totals in the two events.

"We are all excited and very happy for Scott," said parents Gail and Lyons Heyman.

Gail Heyman, who is the co-director of the Fragile X Association of Georgia and an advocate of children with special needs, paid special homage to Scott's personal trainer, Harry Legum.

"Those two - as athlete and coach - have developed a special bond over the past year," she said.

For the past year, according to Scott's mother, Legum devoted every Saturday morning to helping her son train for the Special Olympics. As a result of Scott's gold-medal performance, he and his personal trainer hope to compete in the Special Olympic World games scheduled for 1999.

"Scott, as a young man, is nothing but pure heart," Legum said. "He is a blessing to everybody he touches. Plus, he works his butt off."

Along with his competing in the Special Olympics, Scott is a junior at Wheeler High School and is the manager for the Wheeler Lady Cats varsity basketball team.