Local Special Olympian ready for USA Games

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For Abbi Griswold, finding activities to keep herself busy is no problem.

"I enjoy doing track and basketball," Griswold said. "But bowling is my favorite because I don't have to do the running."

Bowling not only keeps her inside and out of the heat, but it's also sending her to some pretty cool places; like Seattle, Washington for example.

"When I first started, I go, 'I don't know if this is a good opportunity," Griswold said of bowling. "But since I got into it more I go, 'oh, that'd be so cool going to like nationals or the World Games."

Thanks to the Special Olympics of Kansas, Griswold will get that opportunity beginning July 1st in the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle. But while she appreciates the chance to compete at the national event, Griswold is already focusing on getting more kids interested in competing.

"Most kids like us don't get to go to these big events," Griswold said. "So I like to imagine myself, 'oh I can sponsor more kids to go to nationals.'"

If you ask Jeff Griswold, Abbi's dad and local coach, he will tell you it's no surprise that his daughter is putting others first.

"She just has a heart of gold," Jeff Griswold said. "If somebody needed the shirt off her back she'd be the first one to do it."

That heart of gold lines up perfectly with what the Special Olympics are all about.

"Kids who don't get out or doesn't like sports, I can encourage them like 'oh, go do bowling because you get to meet some wonderful new people and they encourage you,'" Abbi Griswold said. "There is just people who treat you like family and they will just adore you and just have a lot of fun."

As for the competition in front of her, Griswold is entering the games with the heart and attitude of a true Olympian.

"I'm just seeing what this brings me," she concluded. "If I don't do good then doesn't mean the end of the world. There's still opportunities out there I can still do my best in."