Special Olympics Idaho hosts northwest regional tournament

Posted at 5:45 PM, Nov 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-10 20:22:31-05

A couple of strikes, a few laughs, and a little friendly competition. 

“They put in a lot of practice, it’s not just like they come here and they just start bowling,” said volunteer coordinator for Special Olympics Idaho Mac Storey. 

The Special Olympics northwest regional bowling tournaments showcase the skills from several teams from across the state. It’s the biggest tournament in Idaho and space for these athletes to show off all their hard work. 

“I love coaching these athletes, and watching them improve," said coach Stephen Kraemer.  

One of the teams tearing up the lanes is the Ghostbusters. Their athlete Jon Harmon has bowled 14 perfect scores in his career.

“we joke about he’s got 14 300's, I think 3 of them are sanctioned, and the others are through practice, and his coach, me, has zero," said Kraemer. 

His Autism diagnosis has never held him back from dominating the sport he loves. He’s heading to Abu Dhabi for the world games in March but says the tournament here is something special. 

“it’s such a wonderful time to see all my other Ghostbuster athletes and the other athletes around the northwest,” said Harmon. 

For all the athletes competing, a strike means more than just a sports victory. 

“it actually helps them with their cognitive abilities too, and it’s about teamwork so even though it’s an individual sport, you still have the team going on,” said Storey. 

It also builds friendships, confidence and put their hard work to the test. 

“With the other athlete and all the parents and fans and loved ones watching us bowl two games to show how good we really are as athletes," said Harmon.