Valdosta's Special Olympians hit the bowling lanes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta's Special Olympians hit the bowling lanes

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By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A special group of South Georgia athletes is preparing for one of their biggest events of the year.

The Special Olympics team sponsored by the Valdosta, Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority will hit the lanes at the statewide Masters Bowling competition next month.

Once a week, twenty-three Lowndes County Special Olympians lace up their bowling shoes and spend hours for the event, which runs from July 17 through the 19th in Savannah.

"Bowling is a fun sport and I just love to do it because you get more athletes involved," says Special Olympian Keisha McCray. 

The team practices once a week at Jac's Lanes in Valdosta, and their hard work pays off.

"Some of them get spares, and some of them get strikes!" Special Olympian Todd Howard says of his teammates.

The team attributes much of their success to the support they offer one another.  Though they like to win, they say it's all about enjoying the experience.

"Have fun!" says McCray.  "Get more medals and stuff, but whether you win or lose, it's just all about sports."

The team members like to encourage one another, and say playing sports has taught them valuable lessons on overcoming adversity.

"Do not ever give up," says Howard.  "Keep on trying."

From now until Masters, these uplifting athletes will focus on improving their games, and cheering each other on every step of the way.  

If the team's performance at the World Games is any indication, they'll perform well in Savannah.  The athletes took home a bronze medal in floor hockey from those games.

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