Special Olympic bowlers strike out stereotypes
Almost 200 Special Olympic athletes are showing off what they can do. A big crowd was on hand for the Special Olympics bowling tournament in Brainerd Monday.
"I got one strike and two spares," said Erick Efaw.
Better make that one strike and three spares for 48-year-old Erick Efaw. Our cameras were rolling as the special Olympian cleared his lane of any pins.
Efaw was showing his friends, family and anyone watching what he can do.
"They were anxious and ready when we got started. So they are underway and doing great," Judy Rogers said.
Rogers of Area 4 Special Olympics helped organize the event. She does this every year but numbers this year are big. There's 170 athletes like Erick taking up all 40 lanes at Holiday Bowl in Brainerd.
"Some of them bowl every week to get ready for this event. They prepare adequately. I can assure you," Rogers said.
For athletes like Erick, a day of bowling is fun but it's also serious business. It's a chance to strike out stereotypes.
"It means they can show what they can do. And they do have abilities. And that's what we want to show off today," she said.
Today's Olympics was for those 30 years and older. There's two more Special Olympic bowling tournaments in October. For ages 8-21, it's Oct. 7 in Brainerd and for ages 21-29, it's Oct. 3 in Hixson.
Monday's athletes came from the following adult facilities:
1. Exceptional Enterprises, Grundy County
2. Keithcare in Hixson
3. North River Special Friends
4. Omni Visions Adult Services in Chattanooga
5. Open Arms Care in Ooltewah
6. Orange Grove Center in Chattanooga
7. Prolex Medical in Chattanooga
8. Red Bank Independents
9. Rhea of Sunshine, Rhea County
10. Special Friends, South