TRI's Bonnie Morihara and Child Development Center Alum Win Gold in Oregon Special Olympics


Research to Practice • Practice to Research

TRI's Bonnie Morihara and Child Development Center Alum Win Gold in Oregon Special Olympics

July 13, 2016

Bonnie and Holly standing side by side, Holly has her arm around Bonnie's shoulder. They are each wearing their gold medals


On July 9 and 10, 2016 more than 1,600 softball, track & field, golf, and bocce athletes converged on Newberg for the Special Olympics Oregon (SOOR) state games.


TRI’s Bonnie Morihara and her neighbor Holly have been competing as Unified Partners (an intellectually or physically challenged athlete plus a friend or relative) in bocce for three years now. This year they placed first, winning Gold medals, in their 4-team division in both the regional bocce competition in Eugene and the statewide competition in Newberg. Bonnie says that Holly is particularly good at bocce because she also competes in Special Olympics bowling in the fall.


Gold Medals in bocce from the State Games and the  regional competition.



Let me win.

But if I cannot win,

Let me be brave in the attempt.

  – Athletes’ oath





Special Olympics Oregon makes sure that all participants go home with either a medal or ribbon by carefully placing participants in small similar-ability groupings. Medals or ribbons for every participant help athletes feel pride in their accomplishments and provide a tangible memory of their weekly practice sessions and competitions.

When Holly moved into the house next door to Bonnie four years ago, both were surprised to discover a TRI connection – Holly was diagnosed with autism as a young child and attended TRI’s Child Development Center 40-some years ago where she learned to talk and interact with others.

Bonnie also volunteers in the winter as a snowshoe coach for Benton County Special Olympics, a sport in which Holly also competes.


Special Olympics Logo



The Research Institute : Western Oregon University : 345 N. Monmouth Ave. : Monmouth, OR 97361
Contact Us: 800-438-9376 | info@triwou.org