Locals Win Gold, Silver At Special Olympics

Kyle Eddy, along with the other members of his Bocce Ball team, returned home after winning silver and gold medals at the Special Olympics USA national event in Seattle, July 1-6. Team members are shown from left: Josh Holsinger of Frewsburg, silver medal; Ginny Petrillo-Sparcino of Tonawanda, gold medal; Kyle Eddy of Randolph, silver medal; and Jennifer Yost of Frewsburg, gold medal. Submitted photo

Several locals won silver and gold medals after competing in the Special Olympics USA national event held in Seattle earlier this month.

Randolph native Kyle Eddy and the rest of his four-member Bocce Ball team, Josh Holsinger and Jennifer Yost, both of Frewsburg, and Ginny Petrillo-Sparcino of Tonawanda, represented New York State in the national games held July 1-6.

Donna Eddy, Kyle’s mother, said he was excited and overwhelmed to be at the national event, but to win a medal was beyond his dreams. She said Kyle and his teammate Holsinger won silver medals during a doubles competition after playing four games.

“The two girls, Ginny and Jennifer, played doubles together and won gold, which was awesome,” she said.

According to Eddy, her family was at the games for five days and the competitors played Bocce Ball Monday through Thursday. She said if they weren’t playing, they were waiting to play their next game and it was exhausting.

“Kyle was very calm through it all,” she said. “The atmosphere is so different at the Special Olympics, versus going to other events. Win or lose, these people are calm and just so happy to participate. There’s no pressure. It’s just wonderful.”

Eddy said it took 11 days and 15,000 volunteers to make this event happen. There were 3,000 athletes directed by 1,000 coaches in 14 different sports.

“Who knows if Kyle will get picked again but, either way, we’re going to go and volunteer for the next event,” she said.

Special Olympics USA takes place every four years. The next one will be hosted at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, in Orlando, Fla., in 2022.