Special Olympics Joins USBC Open Championships for 22nd Year

февраля 16, 2012

BATON ROUGE, La. - For more than two decades, the United States Bowling Congress and Special Olympics have teamed up to provide a one-of-a-kind bowling experience to athletes from across the United States, and that partnership continued this week at the Baton Rouge River Center.

Nearly 350 bowlers from 15 states made the trip to Baton Rouge to compete in the Special Olympics National Unified Tournament, an event that has shared the stage with the USBC Open Championships every year since 1991.

The relationship has taken the athletes, coaches, family members and supporters to 13 different cities in 11 states and given them the chance to see parts of the country they might never have visited. Some participants have been there almost every step of the way, including Gary Schwartz, who has brought teams to the event every year since the tournament was in his hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1992.

"If you've never attended this event before, you've really missed out on something great," Schwartz said. "We have made friends from Alabama, Georgia, Wyoming and even Alaska, who we never would've had the chance to meet. And the format gives everyone a chance to compete and succeed, and that's really what it's about. It's special for the athletes, and that's something we strive for 52 weeks a year."

While the Special Olympics athletes may not be participating in the Open Championships itself, they get the same championship experience, including a trip through the scale room and a ceremonial march down Center Aisle.

Competitors this week were divided into four-player teams Wednesday and returned for doubles Thursday. In all, there were 46 divisions, so no bowler went home without an award. Each team included two Special Olympians and their unified partners, which helps carry the message of friendship and camaraderie from year to year.

"This experience gets better every year, and we're thrilled to be a part of the USBC family," said National Unified Tournament Director Marty Allen. "It has been fun watching the Open Championships and the venue change over the years, and our bowlers have changed a lot in that time, too. They've grown to appreciate the magnitude of the setup and the professionalism of the Open Championships, and you can see that reflected in their uniforms, ability and coaching. They are clearly proud to be a part of this tournament."

The first National Unified Tournament was held alongside the 1991 Open Championships in Toledo, Ohio, thanks to the hard work of then Open Championships director Hal Kaminski and Bowling Ambassador for the Special Olympics, Jimmy Schroeder, a USBC Hall of Famer. Schroeder remains a part of the event and was joined in Baton Rouge this week by fellow hall of famer Bob Hart.

This year's field included participants from Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

"The Special Olympics has always been a big part of the bowling community. We're excited to show the athletes and their coaches that Special Olympics bowling will continue to be supported by our industry," said Eric Kearney, USBC Managing Director of Operations and Administration. "This event serves as an example of ways we are working to expand that partnership by helping coaches and supporters make the bowling experience more enjoyable for the athletes."

After the short break for the National Unified Tournament, competition will resume at the 2012 Open Championships, which will run for 151 days from Feb. 11 until July 10. More than 12,000 five-player teams are scheduled to compete on the tournament lanes for a prize fund of more than $5 million.

For more information on the Open Championships, visit BOWL.com/openchamp.

Sponsors for the 2012 USBC Open Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno. Other sponsors include the Belle of Baton Rouge, official brackets sponsor; Kegel, official lane maintenance provider; Humana, official registration sponsor; Bud Light and Budweiser, official beer sponsors; The Advocate, official publication sponsor; Brunswick, official lane provider; US Steltronic, official scoring system; Storm Bowling Products and Nationwide Insurance.

United States Bowling Congress
The United States Bowling Congress serves as the national governing body for the sport. USBC is a membership organization that provides standardized rules, regulations and benefits to make bowling fair and fun for everyone.

The interactive home of USBC is BOWL.com. Go to twitter.com/USBC for the fastest USBC headlines.

About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 3.7 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship.

Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org.

Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq, and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.

CONTACT: Matt Cannizzaro
USBC Communications
(414) 350-1226
matt.cannizzaro@bowl.com
On the Web: BOWL.com

# # #

Your Donation Matters

Special Olympics transforms athletes’ lives through the joy of sport. Help us make a difference.

DONATE TODAY»

Volunteer Near You

Volunteering with Special Olympics is fun and very rewarding, for both the athlete and the volunteer!

LEARN MORE»

Follow Us

Помогите нам привлечь еще одного олимпийца

Поддержка »

Найдите информацию о региональном мероприятии и узнайте больше о возможностях для волонтеров в одном из 220 представительств организации по всему миру.

Найдите ближайшее представительство »

Videos and Photos

Очень особенноеПри помощи музыки Специальная Олимпиада усиливает свое влияние во всем мире.Просмотреть демонстрацию слайдов »


Videos and Photos

Вокруг светаЗамечательные фотографии со Специальной Олимпиады: мероприятия и знаменитости.Слайды »


Videos and Photos

Партнеры в переменахПартнеры Специальной Олимпиады крайне важны в том, что мы делаем.Слайды »


Videos and Photos

Летние виды спортаЛетом наши спортсмены бегают, прыгают, плавают и побеждают.Просмотреть демонстрацию слайдов »


Videos and Photos

Сила спортаСпорт является эффективным способом изменить жизнь нашего спортсмена.Просмотреть демонстрацию слайдов »


Videos and Photos

Наша деятельностьСпорт, здоровье, образование, социальное развития и проч.Просмотреть демонстрацию слайдов »


Videos and Photos

О насМы — спортсмены, члены семей, знаменитости, добровольцы и многие другие.Просмотреть демонстрацию слайдов »


Videos and Photos

Вдохновение для молодежиПрограмма Специальной Олимпиады, направленная на молодежь, проходит в Индии.Просмотреть демонстрацию слайдов »


Videos and Photos

На вершинуКилиманджаро стала испытательным полигоном для спецолимпийца из Сингапура.Просмотреть демонстрацию слайдов »


Videos and Photos

Деон НамисебОн является прекрасным оратором и хорошей ролевая моделью. И таким он стал не в Намибии.Подробнее »


Videos and Photos

Мир ВозможностейДоктора сказали, что Лани "никогда не сможет ничего добиться в этой жизни". Подробнее »


Videos and Photos

Найти свой голосДэвид Иган всегда мечтал о "невозможном". А теперь, посмотрите на него!Подробнее »


Videos and Photos

РазличияБарри Кэрнс знает, что значит быть спортсменом с нарушениями интеллекта.Просмотреть видео »


Videos and Photos

Здоровые спортсменыНаши бесплатные клиники изменяют жизнь к лучшему.Просмотреть видео »


Videos and Photos

Надежда для ГаитиЛео и Гедеон играют везде, где только могут: на полях для размещения пострадавших, в палаточных городках.Просмотреть видео »


Videos and Photos

Спорт Учит НасНаша деятельность, меняющая нашу жизнь, имеет источником своих сил спорт.Просмотреть видео »


Videos and Photos

Играя в объединенном турниреОбъединенный спорт пробуждает силы в каждом члене команды.Видео »


Special Olympics Blog

Suneedhi: a Girl, a Clinic, a Dream

For a dental surgeon such as myself, screening was just the first step! i felt we needed to go beyond examinations to ensuring people with intellectual disability got any treatment that they needed. I felt I could help more. read more »

Posted on 2014-09-22 by Lynn

go to blog »



*

Special Olympics - Become a Fan