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Kadena HS student to participate in Special Olympics World Summer Games

DJ Lamarr practices his bowling skills. Lamarr, a Kadena High School student, is the only athlete from Okinawa and the first American to compete on a Japanese Special Olympics team.

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan-- DJ Lamarr practices his bowling skills. Lamarr, a Kadena High School student, is the only athlete from Okinawa and the first American to compete on a Japanese Special Olympics team.

TORII STATION, Okinawa -- A Kadena High School student will participate in the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, China, Oct. 2-11.

Lamarr is the only athlete from Okinawa and the first American to compete on a Japanese Team. 

The opening ceremonies for the games are scheduled to begin with more than 7,500 athletes and 40,000 volunteers, representing 165 countries. 

Lamarr has been participating in Special Olympics for several years focusing on basketball and bowling. Two years ago Special Olympics Nippon held a bowling clinic on Okinawa to determine the level of interest in developing bowling as a competitive sport. Professional coaches observed Lamarr as he came close to bowling a perfect game. Lamarr along with four other teammates, went on to the national games in Kumamoto, Japan, where he was selected to represent Japan in the Summer World
Games. 

DJ's mother Diane Lamarr explained that Special Olympics transcends geographic and political boundaries. 

"He has used his athletic gifts to accomplish feats that we never would have thought possible," she said. "Our son says, 'I'm going to win'....such are his feelings of self-worth and confidence. We have been awed continually by the spirit of the Special Olympics that permeates Okinawa, Japan, and the United States. This 'can do' spirit has given us high hopes for our son's future." 

Dr. Nancy Bresell, Director for DoDDSPacific/DDESS-Guam recently recognized DJ Larmarr for his outstanding dedication, loyalty, and commitment to Special Olympics.

"We are thrilled by his success and credit should be given to his parents along
with the amazing volunteers on Okinawa," said Dr. Bresell. "Without the continued support from the military and organizations like the American Women's Welfare Association, this Disneylike story would have never come true. To the incredible teachers and staff at Kadena High School, thank you. To DJ, you are my hero. The athletes of Special Olympics are not sufferers of a disability but rather role models of acceptance and hope."

(Courtesy of DoDDs Pacific)