Brothers Josh and Matthew Saupe brought home multiple bowling awards from the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. The unified doubles team was awarded sixth in the doubles competition and also earned fifth as half of the Indiana four-person bowling team. Josh Saupe also received fourth in the bowling singles competition.
Team Indiana was made up of Special Olympics Indiana athletes, unified partners, coaches and a small number of games management staff. Included in this group were Brent Bowgren (Valparaiso) and Alex Dunn (Portland). Bowgren is a Special Olympics athlete who took his participation in the organization to the next level by becoming a member of the Athlete Leadership Program. Through this program, he completed the training to be a coach. He was named to the team as the bocce coach. This was the first time for a Special Olympics Indiana athlete ever to participate on a national level in a coaching role.
“Having an athlete serve as a coach in the USA Games was extremely exciting, encouraging and motivating to all 11,000 athletes in Indiana and those across the US,” Jeff Mohler, head of delegation for Team Indiana, said. “He did great work with the bocce team.”
Dunn was a former Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) student-athlete and a member of the Student Advisory Committee.
“Alex did a wonderful job bringing the high school athletes and our athletes together,” Heidi Bowman, Jay County Special Olympics Coordinator, said. “All it takes is a little help, a little hope and someone who believes in them.”
Dunn has been an exemplary example of the growing partnership with Special Olympics Indiana and the IHSAA, even beyond a student’s high school years.
Special Olympics USA Games happen every four years at various locations. All members of Team Indiana were selected based upon performance in state competition. The team competed in aquatics, basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, flag football, golf, powerlifting and track & field, bringing home 36 gold medals, 16 silver medals, 15 bronze medals, five fourth-place ribbons, seven fifth-place ribbons, five sixth-place ribbons, five seventh-place ribbons, three eighth-place ribbons and four participation ribbons.