Vince, Vince Jr. and Chris Powierski share much more than their affiliation with Team Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) in attending the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. In June, Vince coached his two sons, Unified partner Vince Jr. and Special Olympics Moore County athlete Chris Powierski in Unified golf. Celebrating as a team and as a family, Vince Jr. and Chris took home the bronze medal in Level 3: Unified Alternate Shot (18-Hole). In the gallery, the brothers were supported by their mother, aunt and cousins.
“Having the whole family together to be able to experience this, it’s absolutely amazing,” said Vince Jr. “He’s coached me in other things our entire lives pretty much, but for it to be Christopher and I on a team stage and having him coach, it’s a remarkable experience.”
“My dad coaches and he’s doing great for us,” said Chris. “I like my brother so much and he is my golf partner.”
Chris has been training and competing with SONC since 1995. In that time, he has participated in athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling, powerlifting, swimming and tennis. For the past five years, he has been training alongside his brother. Exercising sportsmanship off the green, Chris is a teammate to many more.
“I enjoy talking to my neighbors and helping out my older neighbors with any chores they need to have done,” said Chris.
A student at Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, North Carolina, Chris is studying adult basic education. In 2019, he was inducted into the National Adult Education Honor Society, an organization that recognizes adult education students and improves student employment opportunities. For the Powierski family, pride in their personal achievements is shared.
“Getting the opportunity to play with Chris is just an honor,” said Vince Jr. “To be able to do this at the USA Games, on the highest level, is just an amazing experience that we will remember for a lifetime.”
Vince; however, is no stranger to competition at this level. Attending the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington, the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi and the 2015 Special Olympics North America Golf Invitational in Hilton Head, South Carolina, Vince has coached golf across the world. Regardless of the course, the focus is on the athletes.
“It has given me the opportunity to share my coaching experience with other coaches, which benefits even more athletes,” said Vince. “It has become my primary social activity.”
In his 30 years coaching athletics, basketball, bowling, soccer and softball for Special Olympics, coaching his sons at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games was a career highlight.
“I like my friends and family,” said Chris. “I admire my parents for teaching me and helping me. I get to compete against other great athletes, have fun and play Unified golf with my brother.”
Flying a bronze medal home to North Carolina was a win for the entire Powierski family, another achievement shared and celebrated together.