avril 22, 2014 | North America: New Jersey

Special Olympics Pioneers

By Mr. Stephen F. Coston and Linda Coston

Two Special Olympics athletes from New Jersey went beyond the call of duty in making inclusion and Unified Sports become a reality. Stephen and Linda Coston were two Special Olympics athletes from Montvale, NJ who participated in the 2009 and 2011 state Games of America in a bowling competition against 200 amateur non-disabled bowlers. They achieved the vision of the speech in what Eunice Kennedy Shriver addressed in 1988. ("The right to play on any playing field, you have earned it.") Linda Coston won 2 silver medals and a bronze and her husband Stephen Coston won a gold medal, a silver and a bronze medal. Stephen's moment of truth came in 2009 when he shot his highest score with 11 strikes in a row for a 290 game. He shocked the whole entire amateur bowling program and showed what inclusion and unified sports is all about. He was awarded a trophy plague from the United States Bowling Congress. Linda and Stephen Coston fulfilled the destiny of Eunice Kennedy Shriver's vision.

About Mr. Stephen F. Coston and Linda Coston: I been a Special Olympics Athlete since 2006. I participated in Special Olympics before from 1973 to 1978. I left for other endeavors such as persevering on higher education after high school. Currently I am a Global Messenger and serve in the Special Olympics of New Jersey Athletes Congress. I came back in the Special Olympics in 2002 as a volunteer announcer. Then I got involved in the Unified bowling and bocce program of NJ. Then I was reinstated and return to the Special Olympics as an athlete. I am playing softball now with the Project Ask batters in Woodcliff Lake, NJ. I play first base and outfield. My highest bowling average is a 199. I hope and wish someday that I get selected to compete in the National games and the World games. I have a college degree in computers and I am working full time job as a Mailroom Supervisor for a Plastic Company called AEP. I am married and my wife is Linda. She also in the Special Olympics of NJ. She in bowling and bocce.
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