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Athlete With Disability Leads Sports Illustrated Contest


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He made national news in his bid to play high school sports and now a teen with Down syndrome is in the running to win $25,000 from Sports Illustrated for his plight.

Eric Dompierre publicly challenged the Michigan High School Athletic Association over a rule that disqualified him from playing football his senior year because at 19 he had aged out. With significant media attention, Dompierre was able to convince the association earlier this year to alter its rules and grant him a waiver to participate in school sports for one final year.

Now a Sports Illustrated video about Dompierre’s experience is one of 10 finalists in the magazine’s annual “Underdogs” contest. Readers will choose the winner in an online vote that’s open through Nov. 15.

The video about the Ishpeming, Mich. teen is currently leading the pack. If Dompierre’s story comes out on top, he’ll score a $25,000 grant for his school and a trip to New York, reports MLive. To read more click here.

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Comments (2 Responses)

  1. Dean Dompierre says:

    Please go to and vote to help Eric and his teammates come out on top. A trip to the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Ceremony would be a fitting way to reward Eric’s teammates and coaches for their unconditional support of Eric over the years on and off the field. Folks can vote as many times as they like, so spread the word, please! And thank you for all of the support that you may have given in our quest to get Michigan’s age rule changed!

  2. Tania says:

    Good luck to Eric!

    Such an age restriction makes little sense to me. When I was in high school (I graduated in ’03), many of the seniors on school sports teams would not have been eligible had such a rule been in place. They were students who started kindergarten during the year they turned 6 instead of 5 because their birth dates were beyond the cutoff date. Such rules are unfair for all students.

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