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Athletes compete in eastern bowling qualifier

More than 60 Special Olympics athletes competed in the eastern bowling qualifier recently at Jordan Lanes, 731 Jordan Parkway in Whitehall. Thirty five athletes competed in person and 25 competed virtually.

The event kicked off with opening ceremonies, which included entertainment and guest appearances. The bowling competition included singles, doubles, traditional team and unified team and doubles. Athletes competed for a chance to represent Team Pennsylvania at the 2022 USA Games in Orlando, Fla.

Team Pennsylvania will be comprised of 122 athletes, unified partners, 34 coaches and six staff, who will compete in 14 Olympic-type sports.

The Special Olympics USA Games, which is hosted every four years, will mark the largest humanitarian event in Florida’s history. The event will unite more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean. Over 10,000 volunteers will fill more than 20,000 volunteer shifts during the week. It is anticipated over 125,000 families, friends and spectators will witness inspiring athletic accomplishments in 19 Olympic-style team and individual sports and more than 30 events at world-class venues across Orlando, Fla., centered at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort.

Bowling athletes who have won a gold medal at a state competition in their division in the past three years will be placed into the selection pool and a drawing will be held to select the 12 bowlers who will represent Team Pennsylvania.

Special Olympics Pennsylvania provides year-round training and competition in 21 Olympic-type sports to approximately 16,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities or closely related developmental disabilities.

For more information about how you can join “The Inclusion Revolution,” visit www.specialolympicspa.org.

PRESS PHOTOS BY KATHY HASSICK Senior Competition Director Bruce Bach is the man in charge of organizing the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Eastern Bowling Qualifier event recently at Jordan Lanes in Whitehall.
Greg Bott, Julie Benjamin, Jason Merola and Olivia Benjamin from the Greater Lehigh Valley Pocono Region work together to make sure the event runs smoothly.
Lisa Barber focuses intently before she sends the ball down the alley.
Russell Barndt leans in as he watches the ball hit the pins.
Sharon Quarles watches as her ball is on track for a strike.