Jeff Brewer, who goes to church in his Clintonville neighborhood but works at an office supply store in the Northland area, won't be in either community June 25 through July 4.

Jeff Brewer, who goes to church in his Clintonville neighborhood but works at an office supply store in the Northland area, won't be in either community June 25 through July 4.

He'll be in Athens.

Not the one in the rolling hills of southeastern Ohio.

The Goodwill Columbus athlete will be in Athens, Greece, birthplace of the Olympic Games.

Brewer will be one of 7,500 athletes from 185 countries participating in the 2011 Special Olympics World Games, held in the white marble Panathinaiko Stadium.

Panathinaiko was the primary stadium for the first modern Olympics in 1896 and was a venue when the games returned to Athens in 2004.

Brewer, 37, specializes in the pentathalon, which in Special Olympics involves a 100-yard dash, running long jump, shot put and 400-meter dash. He also runs in the 4 by 100-meter relay.

"I like the 100," Brewer said last week as he prepared for yet another in a long series of training sessions at the Goodwill Columbus headquarters on Edgehill Road and at the nearby Grandview Heights High School track-and-field facility.

Brewer earned two silver medals in those events last summer at the Special Olympics 2010 National Games in Lincoln, Neb.

Steve Weaver, Brewer's coach and mentor at Goodwill Columbus, said last week it was just after the 2010 games that he was asked if his athlete would be capable of representing the United States at the 2011 World Games.

Heck, yes, was Weaver's opinion, but he had to ask Brewer's family.

Weaver got the call inquiring if Brewer would be up to an overseas trip just as their plane was landing in Columbus, and there was precious little time to make the decision. When he broke the news to Brewer's waiting relatives, one of his aunts broke down in tears.

"His aunt just started bawling, which almost got me started bawling," Weaver said.

Brewer lives with his younger brother, Gary, in Clintonville. Their parents are both deceased, their mother just last year from colon cancer, Jeff Brewer said.

"The trip will require Brewer to take some time off work and his community obligations," according to an announcement from Goodwill Columbus.

Brewer works at the Staples store in the Karl Plaza on East Dublin-Granville Road, cleaning the restrooms, stocking shelves and helping customers.

"I told one of my bosses on Monday (about the Athens trip), and he said, 'That's good, have a good time,'" Brewer said.

He worships at Crestview Presbyterian Church on East Tulane Road, where he has been in the choir, he said, since April 1999. He assists a classroom of second-graders with reading and helps clean the church.

"Jeff also has volunteered his time to help the homeless by working locally at the Faith Mission," the Goodwill announcement stated.

"I will be doing my best at the world games, knowing all my family and friends in Columbus will be cheering me," Brewer was quoted as saying.

"I put a lot of pressure on Jeff, and he always comes through and performs," coach Weaver said last week. "He is a joy to train."

And he's been getting a lot of training, Weaver added; they've been working together three days a week since January to get Brewer ready for Special Olympics World Games.

Weaver said he has high hopes for Brewer to do well at the Games.

"Because I know what he's capable of," the coach added.

The goal of the athletic program at Goodwill Columbus is to give young people with various types of disabilities a "high school athletic experience," Weaver said. Goals are set for each of the Goodwill Columbus Gladiators, and they hold team meetings and an awards banquet.

"We literally work from the ground up," Weaver said. "We try to have as much fun as possible."

Team USA will consist of 300 athletes from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Goodwill announcement. Also representing Ohio will be Amanda Gump from the Special Olympics program in Wood County.

"The things I have done at Goodwill and with Special Olympics have helped me to be more outgoing, develop a sense of accomplishment and take pride in doing my best while working toward this goal," Brewer was quoted as saying in the announcement.

Before the Athens games begin, Brewer will spend June 20-24 with fellow United States Special Olympians, staying with host families in nearby Rhodes.

"There he will train, taste traditional cuisine and experience Greek sporting, cultural and artistic events," according to Goodwill.

Brewer said he plans to take some buckeyes with him as presents for his host family, in keeping with a Greek tradition.