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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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Softball team exemplifies unity

July 21, 2010

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Softball athletes get autographs, help with their game

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Tim Shriver, CEO of the Special Olympics and son of its founder, Eunice Shriver, signs autographs for eager softball players at Fleming Fields.
Photo by: NaTasha Rollerson,University Nebraska-Lincoln

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Howard Danzy of Kentucky, No. 14, insisted that Olympic Gold medalist Amanda Freed sign his pants.

Photo by: NaTasha Rollerson,University Nebraska-Lincoln

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Clinic coach Amanda Freed offers tips to Ohio softball players

Photo by: NaTasha Rollerson,University Nebraska-Lincoln



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Softball action continues into second day

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Johnathan Durham, Team Ohio, connects with a pitch during his team’s game against Team Louisiana at Fleming Fields Tuesday during the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games.
Photo: Brandon Kusek, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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John Ivy, Team Alabama, catches a ball during the softball clinic at Fleming Fields Tuesday. The clinic was hosted by 2004 Olympic gold medalist Amanda Freed and former major leaguer Frank Kolarek.
Photo: Brandon Kusek, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Alex Lyvers, Team Kentucky, handles a ground ball under the watchful eye of 2004 Olympic gold medalist Amanda Freed during the softball clinic at Fleming Fields Tuesday. The clinic was hosted by Freed and former major leaguer Frank Kolarek.
Photo: Brandon Kusek, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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Celebrities host softball clinic

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Amanda Freed and Frank Kolarek help softball players improve their skills.


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Olympian Amanda Freed offers tips to softball athletes

July 20, 2010

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Photo by Brandon Kusek, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Amanda Freed, who won a gold medal with the USA softball team in the 2004 Summer Olympics, watches on with enthusiasm as a Kentucky athlete fields a grounder. The clinic also featured Frank Kolarek, a former major league baseball player for the Oakland Athletics.



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