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Add athletic glory to his story

Seven-medal winner at games an adopted Haitian survivor

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SWAN RIVER -- If you were to look at 15-year-old Luxon Glor, you'd see a teenager full of life.

Watching him chum with his friends at the 2012 Manitoba Summer Games in Swan River mirrors an experience felt by thousands granted the same chance to compete in the province's largest ongoing multi-sport event.

Where he differs from his fellow athletes is the unique road Glor's life has taken leading to this point.

But before we get into his past, it's worth discussing the present.

In the past two days, Glor has racked up an impressive seven medals in track and field for Team Winnipeg Gold. He sat atop the podium in the 100 metres, 4x200-metre relay, ball throw and triple jump, racked up two silver medals in the 200 metres and 4x100-metre relay and finished the day with a bronze in the high-jump.

Pretty impressive for a kid who had very little interest in the sport before this year.

Having played baseball for the past eight years -- he was on Team Manitoba in the 2011 Western Canada Games in Kamloops, B.C. -- it wasn't until his parents suggested he join something during baseball's off-season that competing at a high level became a regular thing.

So why not hockey? Or football?

"My parents kind of helped choose it 'cause they didn't like hockey, since it was too much time and expensive, and they didn't like football because it was too rough, so track it was," Glor said after the medal ceremonies Friday afternoon.

"I was always good at running, and it was cheap and you didn't have to buy a lot with it."

It's not the only decision Glor's happy his parents made.

That's because 12 years ago, Valerie and Gerald Glor made a decision that would forever change their son's life.

Luxon was born in a town near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, facing his first biggest test at an early age.

"There was just not enough food there, so he was nearly starved to death when he was three months old," said his father, Gerald. "So he had to be nursed back from near-starvation."

Just under three years later, he would find himself in the care of a Haitian orphanage called God's Littlest Angels.

Valerie heard about the program through her sister, Viola Kroeker, who informed her of the many children in desperate need of medical care and a better life.

So they made the decision to adopt Luxon and their other son, Elijah, who at the time was only a year old.

"It makes me think about how lucky I am to have had great people adopt me," Glor said. "Thanks to them, I have a great life."

Fast-forward to today and his parents couldn't be happier to watch their son take in the athletic festivities in this year's games.

"I'm extremely proud of him," said his mom, Valerie. "He's a great athlete, and more importantly, he's a great kid. He's got a good attitude about life, and that's probably why he's doing such a good job."

jeff.hamilton@freepress.mb.ca twitter: @jeffkhamilton

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 21, 2012 C6

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