Jordan Lyons to represent Ohio women on Special Olympics golf team

Jordan Lyons mom, Jan, says that when Jordan was born in 1992, the medical staff told the family that Jordan had Down syndrome and "not to expect much". 

But Jordan had much bigger plan than her birth team anticipated. She's made sure to take advantage of every opportunity in front of her in her first 30 years of life.

Entrepreneur - check. Local leader - check. Competitive athlete - double check.

This weekend, she'll kick off a major highlight by competing as the sole women's golfer representing Team Ohio in the Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Florida. 

"I am glad that I got chosen," Jordan says. "I'm very excited to be getting to go to Orlando."

Jordan spent part of this week in Columbus enjoying a special meet and greet event for the Team Ohio golfers to be introduced to golf professionals in town for the Memorial Tournament. 

And now, she's off to Florida, where her competition week begins with the opening ceremonies on Sunday, June 5, which will be broadcast live on ABC starting at noon. 

Of the about 10 golfers representing Ohio in the games, Jordan is the only woman on the team - a major accomplishment not lost on her.

"I'm honored, and it's very exciting," she says. 

Jordan will compete among more than 200 other golfers at Orange County National Golf Center, which is one of the largest venues in the U.S. The entire Special Olympics USA Games schedule can be found here.

Competition isn't new for Jordan, who is a 2012 Shawnee High School graduate.

In high school, Jordan took on powerlifting, in which she competed with her team at state and national championships. Jordan continues in powerlifting competitions through the Special Olympics and will participate in the state-level competitions at the end of June in Columbus.

After high school, Jordan says she was looking for another athletic challenge she could tackle where - like powerlifting - the sport pushed her to compete not only against others but against herself. 

Her dad, Jon, suggested trying golf, and it was a hit. Jordan perfects her skill locally at Locust Hills Golf Club.

For Team Ohio, Jordan and each of the Special Olympians will be partnered with a golf buddy. Each pair will play through the course in a scramble style where they will continue through each green using the best shot between the partners. 

The women will compete on a full 18-hole course, Jordan says. 

"I like the challenge. I like to be excited," she says, adding that Special Olympics competitions give her something to look forward to and to work toward. 

If you haven't bumped into Jordan on the green, you might have seen the Springfield-native at Champion City Guide & Supply in Downtown Springfield. 

Jordan can often be found running the register at the shop, where she also sells a variety of her own creations, including cup cozies and handmade jewelry. 

"I'm a people person," says Jordan, who enjoys interacting with customers in Champion City and when she sets up her goods at events, such as CommonsFest.

Jordan, a lifelong Springfield resident, also finds time to serve as the vice president of the SAY - Self Advocacy for You - group through Developmental Disabilities of Clark County. The organization strives to strengthen members as individuals by helping them learn self-advocacy skills, gain life skills, and garner leadership experience. 

Members of SAY are encouraged to participate locally through volunteerism, politics, service projects and more. Jordan is hopeful to take on the role of president of SAY in the future. 

"She's done great," Jan says. "She keeps us busy, and we are very, very proud of her."

Read more articles by Natalie Driscoll.