Advertisement

Archive for Saturday, July 1, 2006

Fans give athletes a special send-off

I’m going to bring gold back’

July 1, 2006

Advertisement

Powerlifter Brady Tanner and swimmer Becky Saathoff, both of Lawrence, took turns pumping each other up Friday afternoon just before the bus came to take them to the first Special Olympics USA National Games in Ames, Iowa.

"Brady, are you ready?" Becky, 25, asked.

"I'm ready. I'm ready to go," Brady, 26, said.

Brady held his hands out for a double high five from his teammate and best friend since fourth grade. Some friends ambushed the two Special Olympians with Silly String.

At the Lawrence Holidome, a group of more than 20 friends and family members clapped and cheered on the two competitors and Lawrence High School graduates from 2000. They will represent the Douglas County Gators as part of the Oz-Some Twisters team from Kansas.

Brady was born with Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, and Becky has an intellectual disability.

Brady Tanner gets a high five from his father, Gary, far left, before leaving for the first Special Olympics USA National Games in Ames, Iowa. Brady and Lawrence aquatics competitor Becky Saathoff, both 2000 graduates of Lawrence High School, joined the Kansas team bus Friday and will compete from Sunday to July 8 on the Iowa State University campus with more than 3,000 athletes representing all 50 states.

Brady Tanner gets a high five from his father, Gary, far left, before leaving for the first Special Olympics USA National Games in Ames, Iowa. Brady and Lawrence aquatics competitor Becky Saathoff, both 2000 graduates of Lawrence High School, joined the Kansas team bus Friday and will compete from Sunday to July 8 on the Iowa State University campus with more than 3,000 athletes representing all 50 states.

During the send-off, one person in the crowd asked Brady how he planned to finish in the national competition.

"I'm going to bring the gold. I'm going to bring gold back to Lawrence," Brady said.

His father, Gary, is softball coach at Haskell Indian Nations University. Brady can bench-press about 315 pounds, dead-lift about 475 pounds and squat around 600 pounds, his mother, Janie Tanner, said.

After Becky and Brady received baseball caps autographed by friends and family members, Becky hugged her parents, Larry and Sherrie Saathoff, and received other well wishes.

Lawrence athletes Becky Saathoff, foreground left, and Brady Tanner, foreground right, give a cheer to a crowd of friends and family before heading to the first Special Olympics USA National Games in Ames, Iowa. Saathoff, an aquatics competitor, and Tanner, a powerlifter, left Lawrence on Friday and will compete next week on the Iowa State University campus.

Lawrence athletes Becky Saathoff, foreground left, and Brady Tanner, foreground right, give a cheer to a crowd of friends and family before heading to the first Special Olympics USA National Games in Ames, Iowa. Saathoff, an aquatics competitor, and Tanner, a powerlifter, left Lawrence on Friday and will compete next week on the Iowa State University campus.

She will compete in the backstroke, freestyle and a relay swim.

"I'm not nervous at all. I'm just ready to go," Becky said during a swim session Thursday.

The games begin with opening ceremonies Sunday.

Comments

bearded_gnome 8 years, 5 months ago

Hoping for you both to do well!


thanks, ljw/world company for covering this.

yellowrose 8 years, 5 months ago

Congratulations to both of you. You're in my prayers and I hope your dreams of metals come true. Have fun and enjoy this opportunity you've been given.

southdakotan 8 years, 5 months ago

You two deserve this and will make Douglas County and the state of Kansas very proud. Both of you have worked so hard to make it to the games. GO GATORS!!!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.