Posted by: sonewjersey | May 31, 2011

World Games Spotlight – Bowling

In less than three weeks, seven New Jersey athletes will make their way to Athens, Greece for the 2011 World Games.  We’ve been introducing you to our delegates by sport weekly – let’s meet the final two athletes representing New Jersey. 

Bowling: Kurt Schmidt and Rebecca Visalli

Kurt Schmidt

Kurt Schmidt, 47, lives in Pennsauken, NJ, and has been involved with Special Olympics for 24 years.  He says, “I’m really psyched to go to Greece to bowl against people from other countries.  This will be a great experience for me.  Thank you Special Olympics for all the opportunities you have given to me and other athletes with disabilities.  Going to Greece is a dream come true.”

An avid sports enthusiast, Kurt was recently inducted into Camden Catholic High School’s Hall of Fame for accomplishments involving Special Olympics.  He placed 4th in softball at the 2006 National Games and he won a bronze medal at the 2010 National Games for flag football.

Kurt holds a 166 bowling average, and also enjoys dancing, music and watching the Phillies and Eagles.  He is employed by McDonald’s doing maintenance.

Rebecca Visalli

Rebecca Visalli of Mullica Hill, NJ, is the youngest athlete representing New Jersey and the youngest competing in her sport on Team USA.  At 16 years old, she is a student at Clearview High School.  She has been bowling with Special Olympics for four years, placing 2nd at the state level in 2008 and 2011 and 1st in 2009 and 2010.  Becky also took the silver medal at National Games in 2010.

Becky says, “This is an opportunity of a lifetime!  I am honored to represent the United States at the games in Greece and I look forward to meeting new people and making new friends!”

When she’s not on the lanes or in school, Becky enjoys music, reading and the Phillies.

On June 19, Kurt and Rebecca begin their journey in Baltimore, MD, where all the athletes on Team USA will convene for a celebratory send-off.  Upon arrival in Greece, Team USA athletes will spend four days in the host town of Isle of Rhodes where, through sporting, cultural and artistic events, they will have the opportunity to adapt to a new environment, experience Greek culture, enjoy the natural beauty and traditional cuisine, and train before the Games.

The World Games Opening Ceremony on June 25 will kick off a week of competition that draws to a close on July 4.  Athletes and coaches return to the United States on July 6.

Please help support New Jersey’s Team USA athletes by making a donation here: https://secure.sonj.org/NJTeamUSA/

Best of luck Kurt and Becky!

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