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Reader clarifies Special Olympics story

Dear Editor:
Last week the paper had an article about Kevin Tickle’s accomplishment in winning his first gold medal in swimming. Thanks to Coach Sue Gieschen who provided the information to the paper for the article.
However, it was a bit misleading in stating “he won a gold medal for the first time after years of competing in Special Olympics” without specifying in swimming.
On the walls of his apartment at Westview are a total of 10 gold medals, 17 silver medals, nine bronze medals and 82 ribbons ranging from first to sixth place. Gold has been won in bowling, unified bowling, 50 meter dash, 100 meter dash and four-man relay and finally gold this year in swimming.
He has been invited to join the Scottsbluff basketball team at state competition twice and qualified for the national games when they were held in Nebraska but chose not to attend as he would have had to be there for 10 days.
Kevin was a member of Special Olympics when he attended ESU 16 in Ogallala and rejoined 11 years ago. Special Olympics provides a way for athletes to excel in ways they may not be able to in other areas of their lives, besides being great fun and giving them the opportunity to make friends with others on the team, their families and coaches.
Much appreciation is due to coaches Sue Gieschen and Julie Schwasinger, Jim Ayers, Kevin’s unified bowling partner for many years, Bud Sauer and Jason Gieschen who has been his state bowling partner for years and many others who give countless hours of time, energy and love to provide these opportunities.
The uniforms (new ones this year for Tri-County) and trips to area and state meets are at no cost to athletes. They occasionally pay for some lunches and snacks while on the road.
Nothing comes for free. The team raises money by selling Husker raffle tickets each fall so each person’s community supports their athlete. This is the major fund raiser. Thanks to all who have bought tickets from Kevin in the past, and tickets will be available in the fall. Your support is greatly appreciated and is more important than you may have known.
The sister he couldn’t wait to tell,
Marcia Spratt