Special Olympics Iowa bowlers Patrick Gulbranson (Stuart) and Lisa Spencer (Ankeny), along with aquatics coach Mark Robinson (Cedar Rapids), have been named to Special Olympics Team USA and will represent the United States at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, Calif., July 25-Aug. 2.
Gulbranson and Spencer each earned a gold medal at the 2013 Special Olympics Iowa State Bowling Tournament, qualifying them to apply for a spot on Special Olympics Team USA Bowling. They are among a 491-member delegation representing the United States in competition in 17 sports.
“We are so proud of Patrick and Lisa for being selected to compete at the World Summer Games,” said Special Olympics Iowa CEO Gary Harms. ““The hard work and dedication displayed by these two individuals is reflected not only in their athletic performance, but in all they do as representatives of their friends and families in our state.”
Robinson has been an aquatics coach for Special Olympics for the past 18 years. He is currently coaching for the local delegation at Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation.
“Being a member of Special Olympics has allowed me to experience life through the athlete perspective, especially at my two national games experiences,” Robinson said. “I’ve grown as a person and I’ve developed lifelong friendships.”
More than 7,000 athletes from 177 nations will compete in 25 Olympic-type sports at the 2015 World Games, which marks the 14th Special Olympics World Summer Games. For more information visit
Other SOIA World Games connections include:
- Special Olympics Iowa athlete Corey Leonhard was named co-captain for the Unified Relay Across America, leading the way as the Central Route began in Washington, D.C.
- SOIA Board Chair Steve Palmer was a key member of the torch run support crew on the south route of the Unified Relay.
- One of Iowa’s Law Enforcement Torch Run volunteers, Randy Spurr, will be part of the Final Leg in Los Angeles, leading the Flame of Hope into the World Games Opening Ceremony.
- Sally Briggs will be a bocce official.
- Donna Farley will be a tennis official.
Join us for a World Games Opening Ceremony Watch Party!
The World Games Opening Ceremony will be broadcast LIVE on ESPN! Join us at Jethro’s BBQ n’ LakeHouse Saturday, July 25 starting at 7:30 p.m.! Enjoy food, fun and keep an eye out for our Iowa athletes on the screen!