Bocce Ball in Special Olympics

1 decade 4 months 3 weeks ago May 07, 2006 May 7, 2006 Sunday, May 07 2006 Sunday, May 07, 2006 10:44:51 PM CDT in Sports

Some are just beginning, and some are more advanced. But they all are taking their talents to Bocce Ball.

"I feel like to learn to play and meet friends," Wheeler says. "Yelling and trying to learn."

Special Olympics athlete Harry Besleme says, "It's a nice, easy sport. It's a challenge too, but it's very relaxing too. It's not really a rush, rush atmosphere. It's kind of a nice atmosphere."

Now it's not all just fun and games for these Special Olympians. In fact, for Wheeler and Besleme, their goals are just starting to come into focus. In July, they'll be rolling their way into the National Special Olympics Bocce Ball Tournament.

Columbia Recreation specialist Stephanie Carter says, "They both have a commitment to this game, and you can tell they are both very excited about this game. It's nice to see that their hard work and dedication is being rewarded for them to be a National Games athlete."

Sometimes it may be clear who is the better player, other times, the results could be less than a matter of inches. Bocce Ball has provided unequaled gratification for both the players and the coaches in Columbia.

"Once you work with them its like a virus," Carter says. "You are infected, you want to keep doing it."

It's an infection that has caught on with Grace Wheeler, Harry Besleme, and the rest of Columbia's Special Olympians. Wheeler and Besleme will travel to Ames, Iowa from July 7th through the 9th for the National Special Olympics Bocce Ball Tournament.

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