T.C. runs to medal at World Games

Published 12:11 am Wednesday, August 5, 2015

ST. JAMES — When the best in the world took the medal stand in Los Angeles, St. James’ Theodore “T.C.” Bazile made sure the River Parishes were well represented.

Theodore “T.C.” Bazile

Theodore “T.C.” Bazile

Bazile, 41, brought home a bronze medal in the 4×100 relay, while also taking home a fifth place showing in the 200-meter run and an eighth place finish in the 100-meter run while competing at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

The competition, which featured 7,000 athletes, 3,000 coaches and 30,000 volunteers, concluded Sunday. The Games began July 25.

Bazile, of St. James, was the only Bayouland area athlete to compete and one of only four Louisiana athletes to make the trip to California. The Louisiana delegation also included a unified partner and one coach.

Although small in number, the Louisiana athletes won four gold medals, a silver medal, a bronze medal, four fourth place ribbons, two fifth place ribbons, one seventh place ribbon and an eighth place ribbon.

President & CEO of Special Olympics Louisiana Pat Carpenter Bourgeois said she was proud of the state’s athletes who participated, adding some accomplished personal best scores while finding out the competition is very tough at the World Games level.

“The USA coaches were very complimentary of our athletes, their exceptional sportsmanship in the way they conducted themselves and how much fun our athletes were,” Bourgeois said. “They all had a unique experience and represented Louisiana well.”

Bazile’s showing at the world games followed an amazing performance in 2014 at the Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey. During that competition, Bazile finished first in the shot put, 4×100-meter relay and 400-meter run.

That showing catapulted him to California, where last month he was joined by 30,000 volunteers and delegates from all over the world that attended and competed in the 2015 World Summer Games.

Organizers estimated about a half million spectators were also present.

Special Olympics Louisiana is a statewide organization that promotes understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Louisiana offers year-round programs for 14,500 children and adults with intellectual disabilities in all 64 parishes with the help of 15,000 volunteers.

The organization puts on health, education, leadership, family, training and sports programs for people beginning at age 2 and there is no upper age limit.

There is no cost to participate in Special Olympics.

For more information about the World Summer Games or to donate, visit laso.org or call 1-800-345-6644.