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Special Olympian Brett Dobslaw gives back

West Linn resident uses sports to succeed in life


When you ask Brett Dobslaw what Special Olympics have done for him, he gives a big smile and reels off the ways.

They include confidence, friend making and a whole lot of fun.

“Special Olympics have been really good to me,” Dobslaw said.

Now the 19-year-old West Linn man is giving back to the Special Olympics. At the Nike-sponsored Special Olympics Oregon Youth Games on Sept. 28 at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, the versatile Dobslaw not only competed in four widely varying events, he also was a guest speaker at the rally held prior to the start of competition. He was quite inspirational.

“I wanted everyone to know how much I appreciate what they did,” Dobslaw said. “It was really good for me to play so many sports. It keeps me busy.”

But his greatest supporters are his parents, Randy and Diane Dobslaw.

“We support him in whatever he does,” Diane Dobslaw said. “We coached his Little League teams, and we started his cycling club.”

Brett Dobslaw has Fragile X Syndrome, a form of autism. But Randy and Diane Dobslaw were determined that their son would be active and they became very involved in the Special Olympics in their former home of New Jersey. When the family moved to West Linn seven years ago, they kept right on being active, and Brett Dobslaw became an athlete in a wide variety of sports, including Little League baseball, soccer, swimming, golf, basketball and cycling.

A big step for him was the Special Olympics Oregon Youth Games in 2008. Competing as an individual was great, but the best part of participating in the Special Olympics was being a teammate.

“Special Olympics have given Brett a lot of outlets,” Randy Dobslaw said.

Nike has been good to Brett Dobslaw. Not only has he competed under the Special Olympics banner at Nike, but he also is now a Nike employee.

“The team atmosphere developed in his sports transfers to his work,” Diane Dobslaw said.

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