Married Couple to Compete in Volleyball Together at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games this Summer

February 26, 2014

Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) athletes Craig Becker, 43, and his wife Stephanie, 32, of Milwaukee met while bowling, and this June they will celebrate their 9th anniversary as a married couple at the Special Olympics USA Games.  

Sport brought the couple together and it continues to strengthen their bond. This summer, they will leave their pets with their coach, take two weeks vacation from work and travel to New Jersey to compete side-by-side in volleyball. 

Criag and Stephanie Becker

Craig, who has participated in SOWI for 27 years, competed at the 2010 USA Games in Nebraska and 1999 World Games in North Carolina. He enjoyed travelling so much, he urged his wife to join him this year.

 “I’m excited to meet new people from others states!” said Stephanie, explaining that this will be the couple’s first trip to New Jersey. 

Volleyball is one of many sports they compete in together; they play softball, flag football and unified volleyball on the same team as well. 

“We work well together and we cheer each other on,” she said. “He keeps me motivated and keeps me going.”

In addition to teaming up with her husband, Stephanie also competes solo in powerlifting. 

“It’s good to be on the same team, but it’s good to have your own sports too so you’re not together 24/7,” she said. 

“It’s true,” said Craig. “[The key to a successful marriage] is to not be together all the time.”

Special Olympics helped Craig and Stephanie find their own hobbies. It also taught the couple how to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. According to Stephanie, the organization helped her lose 30 pounds. 

“It’s all the different sports and exercise that keeps me motivated,” she said. 

The couple will join 62 other SOWI athletes competing in athletics, aquatics, bocce, bowling, flag football, gymnastics, and powerlifting at the USA Games. A total of 3,500 athletes, 1,000 coaches and delegates, 10,000 volunteers, and 70,000 spectators will attend the Games at venues including Princeton University, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, Mercer County Park and several area private schools.

For more information on how you can donate to Stephanie, Craig and the rest of the Team Wisconsin athletes, visit our website at www.SpecialOlympicsWisconsin.orgUSAGames.

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