Special Olympics Pennsylvania #50for50: Paul Bettendorf

#50for50: Volume 2
▪️ Paul Bettendorf
▪️ 53 years old
▪️ Northumberland-Snyder

“My mom saw an ad in the paper and that’s how I got started with Special Olympics. It was good to meet new friends and everybody was real nice when I started. My first sport was powerlifting and I do the bench and I deadlift. I’m proud when I do my lift good and I’m just proud to win medals and ribbons. … Right now I do bowling, I do bocce, I swim and I do horseback riding. When I talk to people, they say, ‘good job, keep doing it.’ My doctor, he told me to keep doing it. If I quit, my legs are going to get a lot worse. He just said, ‘keep doing it.’ I have CP [cerebral palsy] and he just don’t want my legs to get worse. Usually horseback riding helps. They said it’s like therapy on the horses. The first time I got on a horse I was a little nervous, but this horse is real good with me. … My mom [Martha] is my Unified Partner in bocce. They started that a couple years ago. At the beginning, they didn’t do Unified, but now they have it. I just like to go and do competitions and state games, stuff like that. I started swimming a couple years ago. Swimming is hard because there’s a lot of different strokes you have to learn, but I like the backstroke. … I’m a Global Messenger and I’m an Athlete Representative. I had to go through training and it was not easy to get through that. But now I have to go out and get more volunteers to come and help Special Olympics.”

Special Olympics Pennsylvania #50for50: Wayne Chisolm

Today, we’re honored to begin Special Olympics Pennsylvania: #50for50, a year-long series featuring the people of Special Olympics Pennsylvania. We hope you enjoy this journey as much as we enjoy talking to those who make our organization what it is…

#50for50: Volume 1
▪️ Wayne Chisolm
▪️ 48 years old
▪️ Area M

“In track & field my favorite event is the 1500m. I love the feeling of hanging behind and then catching people right at the end. It feels good, but sometimes I get tired. … I like to wear crazy wigs and hats all the time. Just to stand out. I like getting attention from everybody, but sometimes the coach tells me not to wear them. … I grew up in Harrisburg and I’ve lived there my whole life. I’ve been a part of Special Olympics for 40 years and have gone to every Fall Fest and went to Nationals in 2014. They recognized me for being there 30 years. I was inducted into the [Special Olympics Pennsylvania] Hall of Fame in ’05, too, and that felt really good to be recognized. … I work at the Weis Market on Union Deposit Road in frozen foods. Stocking them and things like that. I’ve been doing that for 28 years. … Being in Special Olympics, it means I meet new people, see new faces. You get to challenge other people when you race and you get to be brave in the attempt. You compete, but you also encourage others to come out on top. … I’m proud to be a part of Special Olympics and represent Area M.”