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Special Olympics Pioneers

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.