At the 2022 State Bowling Tournament on in Columbia, Tennessee, Elliott Sten, from the Fort Loudon Region, finished in third place in her division, winning a medal in the process.
Sten was overjoyed on the medal stand, as her glowing smile lit up the entire room, and the 22-year-old’s smile stayed plastered to her face as she told me how much she loves bowling.
“It [bowling] is my favorite sport,” Sten said. “I just have so much fun playing it, plus it is really easy to learn and practice.”
Her joy for bowling was evident, especially during competition. It didn’t matter if she knocked down zero pins, three pins, or eight or nine pins, that infectious smile and positive attitude were obvious and definitely wore off on her fellow bowlers.
She also expressed her exceptional gratitude towards Special Olympics Tennessee.
“Special Olympics is amazing,” said Sten. “It is so much fun and I love getting to meet new people.”
She said that she has been involved with the program since she graduated a couple of years ago, and she has hit the ground running.
Sten mentioned she played flag football over the summer but was excited once it was time to start bowling again.
She also works at a coffee shop in Loudon County, and she was giddy with excitement telling me that she is currently learning how to make designs in the foam of the coffee, including making a heart the other day.
“Sometimes the customers are mean, but a lot of the customers are really nice to me,” Sten said as her smile momentarily dissipated, but then as she started talking about how she bowled her smile immediately returned.
As we were wrapping up, Sten dropped a pretty interesting nugget about something she had done the previous week. She was actually interviewed for a television segment about the coffee shop she works at.
“It was for the coffee shop, and it was fun and easy,” Sten said.
Sten will take a short break between competitions, but she can’t wait until it's time for her to bowl again.