Special Olympians return, led by Jennifer Lawrence's VIP

Special Olympians return, led by Jennifer Lawrence's VIP

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - With cheers of USA! USA! A loud and proud crowd turned out at Louisville International Airport Monday night to welcome home four Kentucky Athletes and one other Major VIP.

Amanda Browning of Taylorsville won a Team Gold in Bowling she was joined by medalists Danielle Blakeney, a rhythmic gymnast from Erlanger; Lee Dockins, an artistic gymnast from Russellville; and Chris Willis, a swimmer from Owensboro.

Of the crowd on hand for the athlete's return, Amanda Browning's father, Jarvis.

[MORE: Taylorsville woman going for Gold at Special Olympic Worlds]

"This is what I'm talking about when I say the community supports Special Olympics,"  he said.

The four followed a roar of applause for another member of Team USA who happens to be the BFF of Louisville's own Jennifer Lawrence. Her pal Andy Strunk didn't compete but he did have his own star-studded week at the Summer Games.

With Jennifer Lawrence's mom Karen Lawrence by his side, a Gold medal-clad Strunk, got a real hero's welcome from the crowd, still beaming after his sunny week in California.

[MORE: Jennifer Lawrence, Down Syndrome of Louisville honored at Mint Jubilee Gala]

"He was a VIP," Karen Lawrence said, "He got to hand out every gold medal."

Strunk, who has Down Syndrome, agreed.

"Yeah, I did," he said.

He has the pictures to prove it. From tennis to softball and volleyball to bowling and beyond, Strunk took part in every event. 

When you go to the home page of the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation it's easy to see who the real man in her life is as Andy Strunk is front and center. That's why when the Hollywood Star, who is the ambassador for Special Olympics, couldn't be a VIP at the Summer Games in LA, she knew exactly who to ask.

Karen Lawrence said, "Jennifer's filming, but I got the privilege of bringing Andy."

Strunk not only took Jennifer's title, he was VIP and quite the real G.

"He met a lot of pretty girls," Karen Lawrence laughed, "Let's just say he met a lot of pretty girls."

Strunk agreed, "Yep I did."

Karen Lawrence added, "and he has all their phone numbers."

Strunk's new haircut he got for LA, may have helped. He's certain he is the spitting image of the late star Paul Walker.

"Yeah, he looks like me and I got Paul Walker's looks," Strunk said.

On the plane to Los Angeles, Strunk met a King.

Karen Lawrence asked Strunk: "Who was sitting across from us?"

"Lebron James," he said.

Karen Lawrence said King James wished him the best of luck for the Games. As for Olympic Royalty, Strunk didn't have to wait in line to meet Apolo Ohno.

"They are besties now," Karen Lawrence said.

"Yeah we are besties," Strunk laughed.  And CBS Late Late show host James Corden said Strunk was his favorite green room guest, the two exchanged email addresses.

Strunk went to the Ringer screening, met all the stars and got an all-access pass to NBC Universal. By the Summer Games' closing ceremonies, Karen Lawrence was tired and ready to come back hom - Strunk, not so much.

We asked if he was going to be talking about his trip forever, "Yes," he replied, "yes!"

Andy also got to visit Jennifer's house while he was in LA and he got to bowl with Gold medalist Amanda Browning while he was at the games.

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