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Bowling: Special Olympics state tournament this week at Jack's House

Jack's House in Brainerd is one of seven cities that will host Special Olympics State Bowling Tournaments Thursday through Saturday. Screen grab from www.specialolympicsminnesota.org/events/games/state-bowling-tournament

Jack's House in Brainerd is one of seven cities that will host Special Olympics State Bowling Tournaments Thursday through Saturday.

Nearly 6,000 Special Olympic athletes, Unified Partners and coaches will be participating across Minnesota. The tournament will be the largest in Special Olympics Minnesota history.

Bowling is one of the most popular sports for Special Olympics athletes. Although minor modifications of game rules are made for athletes with physical disabilities, most Special Olympics athletes perform under the same guidelines as professional bowlers. In Special Olympics bowling, competitors are separated into categories based on ability level and age.

This year's tournament will feature the first-ever virtual celebration ceremonies hosted by Fox 9's Ian Leonard with guest appearances by Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck, Minnesota Twins mascot T.C. Bear, former Minnesota Timberwolf Ricky Rubio and more. Watch the ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at somn.org/celebrate.

Hundreds of volunteers make this event possible, as well as more than 300 Unified Partners. Teams in the Unified Sports program are made up of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities. One of the goals of Special Olympics Minnesota is to create an inclusive community. Unified Sports program competitors and other volunteers perpetuate this mission.

For more information, contact Mark Anderson at mark.anderson@somn.org. Find out even more at: www.specialolympicsminnesota.org/events/games/state-bowling-tournament.

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