'INCREDIBLE CHARISMATIC PERSONALITY': Special Olympics athlete leads surf company's ad campaign

Surf Style, a Florida beachwear company, featured Ethan Holt, a 16-year-old with down syndrome, in their ad campaign. Surf Style/Instagram

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A Down syndrome model is making headlines after being featured in an ad campaign for a Florida beachwear company

The model, Ethan Holt, 16, a member of the U.S. Special Olympics paddleboard and swim teams, is now featured on Surf Styles’ digital and social media campaigns, Daily Mail reports.

Holt took part in the July photoshoot sporting the companies vibrant and colourful surf-wear at the flagship store in Clearwater Beach near Tampa.

The non-profit organization Help Us Gather introduced the two parties.

HUG strives to provide new and exciting opportunities for people with disabilities.

Holt is an accomplished athlete who has won multiple gold medals and competes on both a regional and state level in his sports.

But what sealed the deal for Surf Style was Holt’s “incredible charismatic personality and love of the camera.”

Surf Style also wanted to set “an example of inclusion” for other retailers to follow.

Through the help of HUG, Holt was able to realize his potential in modelling which has opened up new doors for the junior year high schooler.

Ethan’s mother, Phoy Holt, spoke about her son’s opportunity, his athletics, and how HUG helped set the whole thing up.

“Anytime he gets to compete, whether it’s paddleboard or swimming, he always gets gold,’ she said.

“Of course in the special needs community we have lots of friends that are involved with HUG, so they would post different events, and share them on Facebook,” she explained.

“I thought that looks like an organization that we should be a part of.”

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