by Steve Peterson
Christian Westra of Hawarden keeps on adding to his medal count.
After a gold medal finish at last Spring’s 100-yard dash, Westra was awarded an Iowa Special Olympics gold medal for bowling during a recent competition in Des Moines.
“He enjoyed it a lot. It was special for him,” said Diane Brunsting, West Sioux Special Education teacher who helped coach Westra.
Westra and fellow West Sioux student Ryan Skilling both competed at the Special Olympics Regional Bowling Meet in Le Mars first before making state. Christian finished first while Ryan took third in their divisions. The West Sioux School Board recognized their achievements at a recent meeting.
“I got help from a lot of people in the community who encouraged me to do this because a lot of kids could benefit,” said Brunsting, naming Sportsman’s Lanes and Lounge owner Brian Engleman and others.
“I got special training in coaching track and then bowling but I am really not a coach. I was hoping someone who is a coach would step forward but I said I’ll go ahead and do it,” said Brunsting.
Brunsting works in the Special Education Resource Room at the Elementary School, with Grades 2 through 5.
“Iowa Special Olympics is an awesome organization; they’re all volunteer and donations,” said Brunsting.
About 900 participated in the Special Olympics State Bowling Tournament on Nov. 17. Bowling alleys which hosted the event were in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids.