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Twins Take Bronze

July 26, 2010

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Photo and Story by Chelsey Wahlstrom University of Nebraska LincolnEmily

For Erin and , softball is a family affair. At age 28 the identical twins from Sioux Falls, South Dakota won the bronze medal in Division 3 softball at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games. For Erin and Emily, the USA National Gamers were a first. In 1999, both traveled to North Carolina for the World Games.

“That was an incredible experience for them,” father Pat Gustaf said of the World Games, “So we were really looking forward to this knowing that this would be equally as incredible.”

The South Dakota softball team comes from all four corners of the state and had never played together as a team before the Games.

“The athletes are just playing great as a team. It’s been one big family,” Coach Todd Bradwisch said.

Alternating the right fielder position, the Gustaf sisters say they work well together.

“We get along and if we don’t then we just stick it out,” Erin said.

“Erin and Emily are magnificent. They are identical twins but they’re so different in personalities. One bats left and one bats right. They’re a lot of fun. I wish I had a lot more sets of twins just like them,” Bradwisch said.

The twins have been competing in the Special Olympics for 15 years in more than just softball. They have also been a part of the bowling, basketball, track and field, and swimming teams.



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