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Sports Brings Out the Best in Billy Joe Smith

Robertson County athlete medals at State Bowling Tournament
Billy Joe Smith bowling

At the State Bowling Tournament in Columbia, Billy Joe Smith, from Area 24 – Robertson County, finished in third place in his division, winning a medal in the process.

On the medal stand, Smith stood there mostly without expression, but as the medal was placed around his neck and his name was announced, there was a small smile and a wave of acknowledgment to the people supporting him in the crowd near the stand.

Billy Joe Smith accepting medal

Smith, 53, has been with Special Olympics Tennessee for nearly 30 years since around the time he graduated high school, and he couldn’t be more thankful.

“I just love the game,” Smith said when asked about his favorite thing about Special Olympics. “It is what I need.”

Smith said that he also competes in the 150-meter dash and standing long jump, and also later said he used to play basketball.

In talking with Smith, it’s obvious after just a short time that he has a great sense of humor. When asked if he has met anyone new through Special Olympics Tennessee, Smith didn’t hesitate in his answer. Without missing a beat he said, “Everybody is just crazy about me.”

This time Smith’s stoic face came alive with a massive smile all the while a hearty laugh escaped him as well.

Smith said he also works at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Springfield, Tennessee, and enjoys the work he does there, but his real passion is competing in sporting events with Special Olympics.

Smith will be taking a bowling break for the winter, at least as it comes to competitions and tournaments, but looks forward to the upcoming spring sports season with basketball starting in March.

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