Since August, Special Olympics Southern California athletes across nine regions have practiced and competed locally. Their hard work and preparation culminated, three months later, with Sunday’s close to Fall Games at Fountain Valley Recreation Center and Sports Park, and the one-day bowling event at Fountain Bowl.
“Fall Games had on display what the Special Olympic movement is all about – courage, joy and our athletes sharing their gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. There was an amazing energy throughout both days of the games, it was an amazing weekend,” said Bill Shumard, President and CEO of Special Olympics Southern California.
After waiting a day to compete, the bowlers hit the lanes for competitions in 18 female and 29 male individual AM divisions, 15 female and 34 male PM divisions, and three singles ramp divisions.
Gold medal performers included Krista Lillibridge (Santa Clarita Valley, Division 18 female AM), Eddy Le Gault (Santa Clarita Valley, Division 29 male AM), Ruth Lowe (Central Riverside, Division 15 female PM), and David Silcock (Huntington Beach, Division 34 male PM). Two ramp divisions were captured by Jamie Bruttomesso (Laguna Hills) and Trynity Roberts (Tri-Valley Glendale), while 11-year-old Kylie Shimabukuro (Community) went unchallenged in the third. For full bowling results: AM BOWLING | PM BOWLING | RAMP BOWLING.
“It was fun today bowling,” said Nicole Nelson, 36, who won a silver medal in the female 17 division. “It’s exciting to compete with other people.”
The greatest turnaround, perhaps, was on the volleyball court. The Ventura Conejo Champs lived up to their name, shrugging off a 1-2 start on Saturday to knock off South Bay Bump It Up and claim the green division gold medal. In the blue division, the Santa Clarita Valley Sharks overcame a similar first day and defeated the San Luis Obispo Tigers to earn the gold. For full volleyball results, click here.
Over on the tennis courts, after wrapping up singles action the previous day, doubles partners took center stage. Level 5 gold medalists included the teams of Josh Manso and Alejandro Pedroza (OC Los Alamitos), Heidi Sand and Michael Roth (San Diego), and David Almberg and David Deramus (Kern County). Sand and Roth were challenged to three sets before prevailing, 10-6, in the tiebreaker against the team of Connor Prichard and Matthew Swanson (San Luis Obispo). For full doubles tennis results, click here.
On the diamond, the six divisions were won by the Santa Clarita Valley Tiger Sharks (blue division), Inland Empire Temecula Valley Crushers (green), Poway Padres (orange), Laguna Hills Hawks (purple), Long Beach Armadas (red) and Northern Santa Barbara Falcons. Aside from the Armadas, each team won a pair of games in the day en route to the gold. For full softball results, click here.
First-place soccer teams included the Inland Empire Green Mojaves (blue), Los Angeles Futbol Club C (green), Ventura Dolphins (orange), OC Tigers B (purple), Los Angeles Futbol Club B (red) and Antelope Valley Storm (yellow). Both the Los Angeles Futbol Club C and Antelope Valley Storm had to produce a pair of victories to win the gold. For full soccer results, click here.
The fall season may have come to a close, but several athletes will soon be gearing up for the next season. As part of Special Olympics Southern California’s new sports plan, floor hockey will be the next championship event on March 11.
“Normally our next major competition would be the Summer Games,” Shumard said. “However, with the new sports plan we will be celebrating the Floor Hockey Championships on March 11, 2018. Playing during its own season from now through March, many of our athletes will have a chance to continue their growth in sports. We hope everyone will join us for the Floor Hockey Championships.”