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Father-daughter duo selected for 2022 Special Olympics USA Games

(WABI)
Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 3:49 PM EDT
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BREWER, Maine (WABI) - Brewer’s Duane Hall has been involved with Special Olympics for more than 30 years. It’s a passion he now shares with his daughter.

They recently learned they’ll be traveling to Orlando together as part of Team Maine for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.

“It was so exciting,” Rylie Hall said about opening her acceptance letter. “Especially being able to do it with my father, is like, so meaningful to me.”

Rylie is following in her father’s footsteps. She is heading to the 2022 Games as a Unified Bowling Partner.

“Now that my daughter has been selected to go to the National Games, I can’t tell you how tickled pink I am that she is gonna get to experience the same joy and excitement as I do,” Duane said.

He will serve as the Assistant Head of Delegation for Team Maine.

Duane first discovered his love of Special Olympics through his job at OHI, a Bangor-area nonprofit that assists Mainers with disabilities.

“I want the world to know that the people I work with are no different than you and I. Special Olympics has given me that chance to bring people together. People with disabilities, people without disabilities,” Duane said.

When his kids were born, he brought them along to almost every event.

“They didn’t really have a choice. I dragged them along. Naturally, they both took right to it. Ian and Rylie have been doing Unified basketball, softball, bowling, bocce, since they were allowed to,” Duane said.

“I remember not even being old enough to participate in the basketball, but I’d show up and be there at every practice after school. It was every Monday. It was something I looked forward to,” Rylie said.

Now, she has the 2022 games to look forward to. The whole family will be in Florida next June for the occasion.

“Being able to do it with my dad is a good experience, but being able to have my brother and my mom there to watch us and record this experience for us so we can look back on it, is gonna be a priceless memory,” Rylie said.

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