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Special Olympics: Send bowler from Mich. to DC

March 23, 2009

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The Special Olympics Michigan president said Friday she'd welcome the opportunity to send the nonprofit's top bowler to the White House.

President Barack Obama made an offhand remark on "The Tonight Show" Thursday comparing his bowling to "the Special Olympics or something." He quickly apologized and told the Special Olympics chairman he wants to have some Special Olympic athletes visit the White House to bowl or play basketball.

Kolan McConiughey, who is cognitively impaired, has bowled five perfect games since 2005, said Special Olympics Michigan President Lois Arnold.

"It would be an honor for him to bowl with the president of the United States," Arnold said.

McConiughey, 35, has been bowling since age 8 or 9, said his foster mother, Jan Pardy.

McConiughey said Friday it's been that long since he last bowled a low score like Obama's 129, and challenged the president to a bowling match.

"He bowled a 129. I bowl a 300. I could beat that score easily," McConiughey said in the Colonial Lanes bowling alley in Ann Arbor.

McConiughey offered this bit of advice to the athletic-minded president: "He has to practice every single day."

Pardy said she saw Obama's comment on TV Friday morning and wasn't offended.

"Everybody has missteps. I don't think it was a slam against the Special Olympics."



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