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Special Olympian honored as Healthy Athlete of the Year

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - It's a special honor for a Special Olympics athlete.

Robert Malnight was tapped as this year's Healthy Athlete of the Year, after he was picked over 3,000 others throughout the state.

The 22-year-old has been involved in the Special Olympics in Kalamazoo for the last 9 years.

In May, Malnight received recognition for his dedication to sports and staying healthy, as he was named the 2014 Spartan-Nash Healthy Athlete of the Year.

Robert received his award in front of 5,000 people during the Special Olympics summer games in Mount Pleasant.

Malnight says he's spent years training for the honor, but it's one he never saw coming until he was pulled on stage.

"When they said 'Robert Malnight,' I said it was me, and I was shocked that...I was withdrawn by it," he said. "When I walked up to the stadium, it was just so shocking because two years I tried being healthy athlete."

There are few sports Malnight doesn't do.

He swims, skis, loves golf and basketball, and he also coaches some of his fellow teammates.

As a part of the award, a picture of Robert will be featured on a cereal box.