Making waves: Surfer wants sport in Special Olympics

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CBS News

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 11:15 AM

NEW YORK—Special Olympians compete in dozens of sports, but surfing has never been one of them.

But now, Jennifer Rowlette-Reneau’s, former champion surfer and mother of a 6-year-old daughter with Down syndrome, is working to get surfing included in the national Special Olympics competition.

In Florida, Reneau started an annual surfing event for kids with Down syndrome, named after her daughter, Riley, called “Smiley Riley’s Beach Bash.” Its success led Florida’s Special Olympics to include surfing, now in its third year.

Reneau’s now working to get other states, like California, to hold competitions. If that happens, the national Special Olympics told CBS News the next step is for surfing to become a demonstration sport at a future summer games.

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