Book Review: Spirit Courage and Resolve, A Special Olympics Athlete’s Road to Gold by Tom Lambke


In 1981, Tom and Karen Lambke found out their newborn son has Down Syndrome. They didn’t let it bother them, they just realized that it meant being a parent would take a little more work.

They used the resources available: support groups, associations for disabled children, and made friends with our parents who children with this disease. That enabled them to understand what they would be going through and gave them some hints on how to cope with it.
Their first hurdle was open heart surgery on their son when he was only one. Then he developed complications and had to go back for a longer hospital stay. But he recovered well and it has never held him back.
Bryan always has a big smile and “can do” attitude. He’s willing to try anything and loves sports.
As he grows, his sports keep evolving until he has an opportunity to go to Ireland to participate in a quest for Olympic Gold, Special Olympics style.
The trip becomes a family event – everyone goes except the grandmothers. Bryan has already fallen in love with motel rooms, so he’s all in favor of traveling. And he’s 18 so he has his first beer in Ireland (legally), too!
Their start at competition isn’t as good as they might have liked, but they continued to play and not worry about scores – they just bowled their hearts out.
When not bowling, they were seeing the sites and meeting all kinds of important people, and just having a great time.
And then, when it was all over, they found out that they were to sit in the number one position – they had won!
Tom really gives you a good insight to how special a child can be no matter what disability they may have. He also points out that most sports figures don’t have the joy, pleasure and humility in their character that the Special Olympic champions do.
There’s really a message here for all of us: Just resolve to do the best you can do and the rewards for that will come to you.
If you would like my copy of this book, which has been signed by both Tom and Bryan, please email me at [email protected] and tell me why you’d like it. I’ll choose a winner in about a week.

Book Review written by Jo Ann Hokola, 2009