Team Milwaukee athlete PJ Lynch and his brother/Unified Partner, Andy, will partner up again as the Double Dogs for a Unified Bowling Tournament on December 7 in Madison.
The brothers will be joined by nearly 180 athletes and Unified Partners for this annual tournament that takes place at Bowl-A-Vard in Madison and Prairie Lanes in Sun Prairie. Competition can be team play, with teams of four that include at least one Unified Partner, or doubles, with an athlete and Unified Partner paired together.
“Unified Sports are really important because they give people a chance to work with us and get to know us — to see what we’re like.” – Team Milwaukee athlete PJ Lynch
This will be the second consecutive year of PJ and Andy making the trip to Madison for this tournament, where they will once again be competing in the doubles event.
For PJ and and his brother, the tournament gives them an opportunity to play one of their favorite sports working together, as opposed to against one another, as they often do when bowling head to head. “We’re kind of competitive when we bowl against each other. But when we’re together we’re very good. We’re strong together,” PJ said.
If their high scores are any indication, they are indeed strong together. Recently, Andy bowled an impressive 236. Meanwhile, PJ has a high score of 274 that he achieved in his rec league. That feat included an incredible 11 strikes in a row.
Although PJ and Andy will hope to put those considerable bowling skills to use by winning their games and bringing gold medals back to Milwaukee, that’s not the main appeal of the Unified Bowling Tournament. “I’m really looking forward to meeting new people, competing against new friends or just seeing friends I made last year,” PJ said.
PJ was the first athlete from Team Milwaukee to participate in the tournament when they competed last year. This year, they’ve inspired another Team Milwaukee pair to join them after they brought back stories of how fun the experience was. “Last year was awesome,” PJ said. “We really enjoyed going against other Unified pairs and meeting new athletes and partners.”
PJ the Trailblazer
It should come as no surprise that PJ has helped inspire fellow Team Milwaukee athletes to participate in this Madison-area tournament. For years now PJ has served as a trailblazing athlete leader who welcomes a challenge, no matter how far from home.
In 2014, Lynch competed in swimming at the Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey. And earlier this year, PJ participated as an Athlete Official for basketball during the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. That experience also helped PJ showcase his commitment to Unified experiences, as he was half of a Unified Officials pair along with his mentor Linda Dahl. Together, the two served as Special Olympics Wisconsin’s very first Unified Official team for a World or USA Games.
While PJ loved getting the opportunity to travel, see new places and meet people from around the world, he was also excited to be there as part of a Unified team. It means a lot to PJ to be involved in Unified experiences.
“Unified Sports are really important because they give people a chance to work with us and get to know us – to see what we’re like,” PJ said. “Unified Sports has done so much for Special Olympics. It’s awesome.”