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Boynton Beach tennis star inducted into Special Olympics Hall of Fame

Jonathan Doring has been playing tennis since 1995
Jonathan Doring has been inducted in Florida's Special Olympics Hall of Fame.JPG
Posted at 11:38 PM, Jan 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-06 05:42:13-05

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — A South Florida tennis star is celebrating a special honor after getting inducted into Florida's Special Olympics Hall of Fame.

When he's not competing across the globe, on the courts at Boynton Beach's tennis center is where you'll find Jonathan Doring, doing what he loves and sharpening his skills.

"I enjoy running around hitting," Doring said. "I'm very mentally smart."

The 42-year-old has been playing tennis since 1995 and it doesn't just stop at top spins and aces. He also has a love for other sports.

"There's softball, golf, pickleball, bocci and bowling," Doring said.

The Special Olympic athlete has competed in three USA games, two world games and won more than 100 medals.  In 2012, he took home the gold in men's singles in Athens, Greece.

"It feels like I reached the top of the world," he said.

Doring was inducted into Florida's Special Olympics Hall of Fame last month in Orlando.

As his mother, Kathy Doring, will tell you, there isn't much he can't do.

"I'm extremely proud, seeing him from when he was a young child to the man he's become has been quite a journey," she said.

At 8 years old, Doring was diagnosed with Fragile X syndrome, a genetic intellectual disability that falls under the autism spectrum.

Despite his diagnosis, he still manages to touch countless lives such as Ryan Ruch, manager of sports and competition for Special Olympics Palm Beach County.

"No matter what, I could be having a rough day, a lot going on, and I hear Jonathan coming into the office, it just brings a smile to my face," Ruch said. "He's just got this personality that is amazing. He draws you in and he captivates your heart."

When he's off the court, Doring said, he prides himself on giving back and teaching tennis to younger athletes with similar disabilities.

"I just want to encourage them to play sports like I do," he said.

In addition to being a full-time athlete, Doring also excels in the classroom.

He graduated with honors and has an associate degree in computer science, and he's currently working on getting a certification for cyber security at Palm Beach State College.