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Special Olympics bowling works to include all in competition

Chris Supulski bowls at the tournament Sunday. Tiffany Thompson/WGXA

WARNER ROBINS, Ga.-- People from all across Georgia came together to compete in the State Masters Bowling Competition with the Special Olympics, at Robins Air Force Base and the Gold Cup Bowling Center from Friday until Sunday.

Our crews spoke with a family who said this competition is more than just bowling for them; it's an outlet for their son with a disability for him to connect with other people.

"Whats the best part about bowling for you," signed Jennifer Amrhein to her son Christopher Supulski who responded with sign language translating to "getting a strike."

Amrhein said her son has participated in Special Olympics bowling for many years, but this time was extra special.

This year was Supulski's first time off the gutters, which meant he was now able to play on the same team as his father, Michael Amrhein.

"He is feeling like he is the same as everybody else, not being different, and that means a lot," said Michael Armhein.

David Crawford is the Director of Program Services South for Special Olympics Georgia.

"It's a unified sports program that unified partners or individuals without intellectual disabilities and they can compete with teams with athletes with intellectual disabilities so we can have anybody participate in our program," said Crawford.

Michael Amrhein said it brings people together.

"My son's done Special Olympics in Kentucky, Hawaii, Virginia, and here. Its been great to make those connections wherever we go because we all have something in common. That's the special athletes," he said.

Twelve-year-old volunteer Emily Patat said she has friends in school with disabilities, so she wanted help.

"They were really cool and we kept on laughing and we kept on high-fiving and stuff like that," said Patat.

Crawford said over 1,200 athletes participated in the weekend long event. He also said over 300 volunteers helped out.

Crawford said this competition will happen again next year, and although the dates aren't finalized they are looking at the same weekend.

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