Teen brings home medals in bowling

A Rimbey-area teen is sporting gold and bronze medals after competing in the Special Olympics earlier this month.

A Rimbey-area teen is sporting gold and bronze medals after competing in the Special Olympics earlier this month.

Sixteen-year-old Brandon Heerema from Hoadley won a gold medal in the 5-pin bowling competition as an individual bowler. His team won a bronze medal.

Heerema, like a true winner, was modest about winning the medals. But words weren’t really needed, anyway.

His huge smile said it all.

Coach Fiona Martel is proud of Heerema and all the bowlers she coaches who made it to the Special Olympics.

“It was very exciting. The looks on their faces were just wonderful.”

Martel said prior to the competition, she encouraged the bowlers to have fun and not worry about winning.

“Winning was definitely a bonus. And the ones who didn’t win were so proud of the ones who did.”

Heerema bowls in Lacombe at Ambassador Lanes. He has been bowling for about four years and Martel said he is the youngest bowler in the league to go to provincials.

She enjoys coaching the bowlers but adds she does not bowl, herself.

“They love to play against me, because they can beat me with their eyes closed,” she said with a laugh.

Events in the Special Olympics included 5-pin bowling, basketball and swimming. Opening ceremonies were held at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School on April 19 and featured the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

The games wrapped up on April 21 with medal presentations.

Athletes came from communities stretching north to the Northwest Territories, south to Lethbridge, east to Lloydminster and west to Rocky Mountain House.