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Athlete Spotlight, Carly Scott 

When Jayne Scott is asked how Special Olympics Oregon (SOOR) has altered the life of her daughter Carly and inspired friendships throughout the years, her answer provokes tears.

“It’s everything! Carly is a very sociable person, and she loves hugs and high fives. She’s made great friends, not just with her peers, but with referees, volunteers, and coaches. They all bring such enthusiasm. My girl lives off enthusiasm!”

Carly is a multi-sport athlete for Special Olympics Oregon, with bowling being her absolute favorite. She’s been bowling since she was 8 years old and is often seen carrying her black and pink bag into bowling alleys.

“I’ve made special friends bowling,” said Carly, “our team’s name is ‘Pin Buddies!’”.

Carly bowls year-round, and her highest score, a whopping 235, would annihilate most weekend bowlers. She also enjoys basketball and golf, and loves to visit Top Golf in Hillsboro, trying to hit every colored circle on the range.

Her dad was a golf coach and volunteered for Special Olympics Oregon for over a decade, and they love to play sports together to this day. Carly hopes to play golf this summer in the Summer State Games, which is back for the first time in years, to the delight of every athlete, volunteer, coach, and SOOR staff member.

As for basketball, Carly’s favorite thing to do mirrors Iowa’s Caitlin Clark: Shoot 3’s.

“I like to practice on Sundays,” said Carly, who drops in also to Tualatin Hills on Thursday nights to play games.

Carly is also active in the community, working at Nordstrom Rack in Hillsboro weekly.

Jayne said Carly’s participation in Special Olympics Oregon has changed everything for their family. “I am a non-athlete,” Jayne said with a laugh, “and (dad) Steve IS an athlete. Having Carly be able to learn all about athletics and team playing, and to be able to relate so well to Steve’s life, it’s so fun to (witness) them talk sports. They also love to watch sports together. She certainly wasn’t going to learn it from me! All of this was made possible by Special Olympics Oregon.”

Jayne continued, “it’s amazing to see the coaches work with her. She started in track – just to see her run was so fun for me. The other great thing she’s learned is weight management, which in life is a challenge for most people, and I’ve found with many of her peers and parents, we’re all trying to figure out how to ensure a healthy lifestyle. When she was growing up, we wouldn’t let her just run down the street and play without us or ride her bike without one of us around. There were limitations to having her (create) an active lifestyle, and to have these opportunities that Special Olympics Oregon provides, with scheduled sports each week, the opportunity to break a sweat, and to see friends, it’s just so wonderful.”

Jayne sees Carly as a forever member of the Special Olympics Oregon community. “I’m delighted when I go to State Games and see all the age ranges,” she said, “This is a lifelong opportunity. They don’t age out, which is wonderful.”

Asked what Jayne’s biggest joy is, being a parent of Carly?

“Well, being a parent of Carly is for me, a friend for life. She’s so much fun to be around, so excited to show us things! You know, I have friends that have experienced empty nesting. Their kids move on in life; Carly likes to be at home with us. We’re happy to watch her grow and meet the new people she meets along the way. There are challenges in her life, certainly, but you always see her maturity. That’s lots of fun to see. She is our buddy.”