Thursday, August 25, 2011

USA Rookies continue to turn heads on the world stage

Labas had a hard fought match against Brock Richardson (Canada) keeping it close till the final end with a disappointing 1-3 loss. Cornelius Oatis also had a tough close match against Lukas Balazi (Slovakia) which resulted in a 2-6 score. Marck Harrison had his first win (3-1) on the world stage against our friends from Ireland (Jason Kearney). The 3 new rookies lunchroom conversation today has been around how to improve the practice schedule back home. BC3 division continues to improve in today's play as Sam Williams kept his composure during tie break to go on to get the win against Maria-Elleni Kordali of Greece. Lobmeyer kept each end close only giving up 1 point each end against an excellent player in Veronica Pamies of Spain. Austin Hanson is looking like his world class ranking (17th) today as he played a near perfect game against Armando Costa of Portugal (currently ranked 10th in the world) to win the round 6-2. Team USA is awaiting final results of the matches to see if any members make it our of their pool as point qualifiers.  Stay tuned!!

If you haven't had the opportunity to see the facebook... check out Jim Labas (father of Luke Labas comments below)

A Father’s Reflections on His Son’s Accomplishments
from Jim Labas,  father of Luke Labas
Thanks again for giving him the honor. He will never forget that, nor will I. Appreciating more each day what this sport does on so many levels.
So today, 3,603 miles from home, a 17 year old athlete carried the flag of his nation onto a floor of competition. He carried it as anyone who has the honor to carry our flag in a foreign land carries it. With pride, honor and a respect for all that it represents. He carried it for everyone back home, especially his Mom, brother and sister back in Indiana cheering him on. His brothers that salute it everyday, everyone that has supported him on this trip and are a big part of making it all possible, his friends and supporters at Turnstone. But mostly he carried it for anyone back home with any form of a disability.
The nine athletes that are here wearing Red, White and Blue represent the best that a core of resilience and determination has to offer. For anyone that faces challenges in everyday life that we with able bodies take for granted. For the extra time it takes just to prepare in the morning to start ones day. For the obstacles in everday life that a world that wasn’t designed for them presents. For dealing with something as simple as a mosquito bite that can’t be scratched, because one cannot will their body to do that simple task, so they just mentally deal with it as they just mentally deal with so many discomforts, aches and pains every single day of their life. But at this time, during this week, in this city in Northern Ireland, they will meet their own. They will meet 200 athletes from 32 other countries that have the same mental tenacity to deal with everyday obstacles and push through the road blocks in their way. They have found a way to compete. An avenue to channel their will to better themselves and push beyond what was their past performance to something even better. They will feel their heart beating through their chest as a key throw is needed at a critical time to score and they will mentally deal with it. They will force their bodies to do more than they are comfortable doing so that they don’t feel they let themselves, their teammates, their coaches and their supporters back home down. How could they? They will focus as any athlete does. They will focus on what they have trained for and practiced. They will push their bodies to excel on a world stage. They will do what everyone with a disability does every single day of their life. Adapt, improve, give it their all and push on. Great Britain, Hong Kong and Brazil are the first on the list. Let the games begin. Proud of you Luke Labas.


  1. Well said! Proud of you Team USA ! As a Mom of Brigid Mason I understand and have much compassion , respect, and pride as they go through there day. That's what I appreciate from Boccia it's tough at times for these folks with disabilities yet when they are all together things change inside there is comardie and confidence builds where they can go back home and feel like if I can do that I can do anything! Such an inspiration my daughter and all these athletes from Team USA and around the world are to me!

  2. The drive that builds when these athletes when they compete definitely follows through when they return home and go back to daily life! Become more indepedent, focus, and communicative. I am very sensitive to my daughter and all athletes!
    Of course there is joy when they win medals however they should be so proud of themselves in hard fought games in competition it helps finding success in life! It's what they get out of this experience as a team and individuals! So proud of them! so proud!

  3. Keep up the great work Team USA and hold your heads high for each of you have gained much in this experience! My daughter has over the years I can definitely see that! Regards , The Mason Family! Your coaches help you however you do the work that makes you successful in this life! Take care!

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  5. Hi Jim Labas, nice thoughts on Luke. Boccia has done so much for Brigid . I could not agree more!

  6. Change in play and life is subtle every time you play it there every time you take the court! Think I've said enough guess we all are feeling the love right now! Go TEam USA . Remember a smile and hug for your coaches!

  7. When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure 'tis like a morn in spring.
    In the lilt of Irish laughter you can hear the angels sing,
    When Irish hearts are happy all the world seems bright and gay,
    And When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure, they steal your heart away.