Special Olympians compete at Area Games

By: 
Cindy Lumona
Special to the News

Individual Skills Competitors (Above) Tracey Wrobel with coach Katie Richards works on shooting skills.

The Red Lodge Special Olympians competed in the Area Basketball Tournament in Billings on Oct. 14.

The athletes competed in the 5 on 5 competition as well as an individual basketball skills competition. The 5 on 5 team was a unified team, which means that the Special Olympic athletes play alongside their peers. 
The team was made up of Albert Crowder, Mac Sowa, Kelli Luoma, Lloyd Coldweather, Jeremy Shields, and unified partners, Lilly Fouts, Rebbecca Purcell and Steven Morales.  The team was coached by Adam White and Rich Luoma.  They played three very competitive games against the Billings Adults, Bozeman Bears and the Bozeman Flames and came home with a silver medal from the games.  In addition to the basketball tournament, athletes Sarah Johnson, Katherine Collins, and Tracey Wrobel competed in an individual skills competition where they showed the skills and determination in shooting, passing and dribbling drills.  There were over 100 athletes in this competition.  Sarah was a silver medal winner and Tracy and Katherine both brought home a gold medal.

The next competition is slated in Helena on Nov. 9-11 where over 1000 athletes, coaches and volunteers will converge on the city to compete in over 180 games at 10 different venues. Red Lodge Special Olympians will join in the competition this year in both Unified 5 on 5 competition and Individual Skills. Taking place in Helena, Clancy, and Montana City, the State Basketball Tournament will feature nearly 40 delegations from across Montana coming together to compete. It is a three day event, with Nov. 9 featuring opening ceremonies, Nov. 10 being a pool play day, and Nov.11 being bracketed tournament play in the pursuit of first place. The athletes take the Special Olympic Athlete Oath to heart: “Let me win, But if I cannot win, Let me be brave in the attempt”.

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