Special Olympics Iowa bowlers Patrick Gulbranson (Stuart, Iowa) and Lisa Spencer (Ankeny, Iowa) have been named to Special Olympics Team USA and will represent the United States at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, Calif., July 25-Aug. 2.
Gulbranson and Spencer each earned a gold medal at the 2013 Special Olympics Iowa State Bowling Tournament, qualifying them to apply for a spot on Special Olympics Team USA Bowling. They are among a 491-member delegation representing the United States in competition in 17 sports.
“We are so proud of Patrick and Lisa for being selected to compete at the World Summer Games,” said Special Olympics Iowa Interim CEO Gary Harms. “”The hard work and dedication displayed by these two individuals is reflected not only in their athletic performance, but in all they do as representatives of their friends and families in our state.”
Every two years, the world transcends the boundaries of geography, nationality, political philosophy, gender, age, culture and religion to come together for Special Olympics World Games. Alternating between summer and winter Games, this event is the flagship event of the Special Olympics movement, which promotes equality, tolerance and acceptance through the power and joy of sport. This prominent world stage brings attention to the Special Olympics movement and the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. Currently, more than 4.4 million Special Olympics athletes train and compete year-round in 170 nations across the globe.
More than 7,000 athletes from 177 nations will compete in 25 Olympic-type sports at the 2015 World Games, which marks the 14th Special Olympics World Summer Games: Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Bocce, Bowling, Cycling, Equestrian, Golf, Gymnastics, Judo, Kayaking, Half Marathon, Open Water Swim, Power Lifting, Roller Skating, Sailing, Softball, Soccer, Table Tennis, Team Handball, Tennis, Triathlon and Volleyball.
Special Olympics Iowa (SOIA), a statewide nonprofit organization, provides high-quality training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities in all 99 counties of Iowa. SOIA offers 23 Olympic-style sports to more than 12,000 athletes and Unified Sports partners year-round.
Since 1968, Special Olympics has provided an inclusive culture that stresses athletic excellence, rewards determination, emphasizes health and celebrates personal achievement. Through Special Olympics sports training and competition, children and adults with intellectual disabilities reach their full potential and experience inclusion in their communities every day.