When Mike Brannigan was 18 months old, he was diagnosed with autism. At the time, his doctors said he would likely need a special school and a group home.
Fast-forward several years.
Brannigan is one of the top 10 high school runners in the United States. With his impressive track record and wow-worthy work ethic (he runs "every day, sixty plus miles a week," NBC says), it should come as no surprise that Brannigan is currently being wooed by more than 200 colleges -- including Duke, Georgetown and Stanford -- that have already expressed interest in recruiting the young man.
Brannigan hopes to attend a Division One school; but his dreams are even bigger than that. “I want to be a professional athlete,” he told NBC, adding that he hopes to one day represent the United States at the Olympic Games.
I didn’t say a Paralympics team. I said Olympic team. Then we’re gonna blow the lid off what people think [athletes with autism] can and cannot do.”