Special Olympic Bowling Athletes form league in Bangor

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 10:24 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The Tokyo Olympics were postponed due to COVID last summer, but those Olympic athletes are back to competing- and are about halfway through games.

There is another group of local Olympic athletes still waiting and hoping for their games resume some day, and until then, they’ve taken their ability to compete in their sport into their own hands, and are truly in a league of their own.

COVID cancelled Special Olympic bowling last year and it may not happen again this year.

And that’s how the Thursday Unified Bowling League at Family Fun Lanes in Bangor was born, put together in part by Angelina Meucci as a way to bring the athletes together.

“People have missed out on a lot of socializing and aspects like that in the past year and a half,” she said. “So this ten-week league really assisted people in getting back out into the community again, and seeing their friends, and partnering up with other people to just have fun.”

“We get to do a lot of fun stuff during the week,” added Alexis Martin, A DSP at Momentum North. “But I think bowling has been a highlight because we get to come in and be able to talk to each other and have that sense of competition.”

While the pandemic was tough on most people, Special Olympians like Rakel Arthurs - who is competing in Nationals in Florida next June- say the isolation was especially hard.

“t sucked, really,” Arthurs said. “I have a brother who is also part of Special Olympics. When COVID started it was really affecting on him, because he loved getting out in the community and doing activities.”

Ultimately, these athletes love their sport for the same reason anyone does… because of what it gives back.

Attempts to hold Special Olympic Bowling this summer might not work out in the end, but that’s been made ok by the success of the Thursday Unified Bowling League

“I think that this is something that we’re going to continue on,” Meucci said. “Because yeah, it’s been wonderful.”

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