CURWENSVILLE — A Curwensville woman is a gold medalist.
Chassidy Addleman competed in bowling events that were part of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Fla., June 5-12. More than 5,500 athletes from the nation’s 50 states and US territories took part in the competition that is modeled after the winter and summer Olympic Games. She earned three gold medals for her efforts from her.
Addleman is the first Clearfield County Special Olympics athlete to be chosen to attend the games. To be eligible, Addleman had to be nominated by her coaches, then compete in a qualifying bowling event and obtain a gold medal in the sport. Following the event, the coaches had to affirm their athlete selections.
Addleman’s name was then placed into a drawing of qualified athletes and a number from Pennsylvania were chosen to compete at the USA Games.
She said she received the news during an online meeting. Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Joe Haden made the announcement.
“I was really excited,” Addleman said.
She and other athletes left from University Park Airport following her attendance at the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games at Penn State University, State College. Addleman did not compete, she was a spectator there.
At the USA Games, Addleman earned three gold medals in bowling in singles, doubles and team play over three days of competition. Her teams of her was composed of four athletes from Pennsylvania.
In May, Addleman met her partner and team members and they practiced over several days ahead of the trip to Florida.
When asked if she was anxious about competing, Addleman said, “I was not nervous. I am used to bowling. I love to bowl and I like it when I get a high score. I was just really excited to be there.”
Addleman has been a member of Special Olympics of Clearfield County for 32 years — starting when she was 14. Throughout the years she has participated in swimming, bocce and bowling events, earning many medals.
Addleman said she hopes to continue competing as a Special Olympics athlete but said the program needs volunteers to continue and financial support. She said volunteers can serve as coaches, transport athletes, mentor them or help plan or set up at events. “There are lots of jobs. Anyone can help,” she explained.
“I love Special Olympics. It is very fun to be part of it. You get to meet new people and participate in a lot of activities all year long. You are never bored. There is something going on in every season. It is fun and exciting to be apart of it.”
Clearfield County Special Olympics has joined with Cambria, Centre, Clinton, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties to form The Wilds Region.
The Wilds Region Sports Director Kristen Lenig said, “The mission of Special Olympics PA is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness. , demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.”
The Wilds Region Executive Director Pam Velasquez said, “Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. We couldn’t do what we do without them. If you are interested in making a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities, then Special Olympics PA is for you. Not only will you impact their life, they will positively impact yours. There are many ways to volunteer. You can be a coach, a mentor, or participate in a single event. For more information, visit the website, https://specialolympicspa-thewilds.org/. “