Schmitt and his team bowl their way to victory at the Special Olympics
By Joseph Cotton | Staff Writer
If you’ve been to the Blue Blob’s Diner for a milkshake anytime this semester, your drink could have been served by Olympic medalist Mathew Schmitt.
Multi-sport talent Schmitt and his team won a bronze medal in bowling on Oct. 21, when they placed third at the Special Olympics of Hamilton County (SOHC) tournament.
The medal adds to Schmitt’s collection of two bronze medals in bowling and three gold medals in swimming, including the backstroke, the freestyle 25m sprint and the freestyle relay.
SOHC is a chapter of Special Olympics Ohio and serves more than 1,800 athletes by offering 25 different year-round athletic programs. The organization is largely funded by donations, relying on nearly 600 community volunteers and more than 100 certified Special Olympic coaches to carry out their mission.
Schmitt started swimming when he was in the fifth grade and started bowling shortly after, at the age of 12.
“I like both,” said Schmitt. “My favorite part is having fun and making friends.” He also plays softball during the summer and recently participated in the 2018 River City West softball tournament.
Schmitt, coached by Ron and Mary Shaw, competes in a bowling league that meets every second Friday at Crossgate lanes in Sharonville. Schmitt’s personal best score for a round of bowling is a 168. When asked about his victory dance Schmitt replied, “I guess I need to work on that.”
Schmitt occasionally uses a wrist brace when he bowls and has a heavy ball for his first delivery and a lighter one for the second.
“I get a little bit nervous sometimes,” Schmitt said. “Sometimes my cousins come to watch. They’re supportive and they cheer a lot.”
During the days, Schmitt works at Blue Blob Diner, a job that he started at the beginning of the academic year. His responsibilities include serving milkshakes, making ice cream and fries and general clean up.
Schmitt also enjoys the companionship working at the diner offers him.
“I like making new friends and learning new stuff,” he said.
“He’s one of the cleanest employees we have,” added Connex retail dining director Beth Hall. “He also mixes up a mean milkshake.”
When Schmitt is not busy with training and work, he enjoys playing video games and drawing. “I got a Nintendo Switch with Pokemon, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy,” said Schmitt. “I also like to draw cartoons.”
Schmitt also likes to make room for hanging out with the friends he has made from bowling and swimming. He enjoys going out to eat and playing video games with them.
Schmitt typically works at Blue Blob’s Diner on the weekdays. Make sure to pay him a visit and get a taste of his “mean” milkshake for yourself.