Junior wins bronze medal at Special Olympics

By By Danny Weiss Staff Writer

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Junior David Kopperman competed in the Special Olympics Oct. 23 and won a bronze medal in tennis.

Kopperman started training with sophomore Lauren Perrine in August and prepared to play a doubles match with her in the competition.

“We met through the Special Olympics, and ever since then we’ve been friends,” Kopperman said. “She taught me a lot. Whenever I messed up she always had a good way of correcting [me]. She was not only my partner, she was also my coach.”

Kopperman worked hard and practiced for three months prior to the competition.

“[He] is very self-motivated and he sets his goals very high and works to achieve them,” Perrine said.

After achieving his goal of playing in the Special Olympics, Kopperman is even more confident in his abilities.

“Whenever I play tennis, I feel really good and prepared,” Kopperman said.  “I can beat anyone.  I have to do my best and see what happens.”

The training helped Kopperman feel calm and prepared, and he also knew what to expect.  This was his third year competing in the Special Olympics, and he was very familiar with the routine and experience.

“I have done three competitions in tennis, two in basketball and two in golf,” Kopperman said.

Over the past three years, he has won three gold medals, one silver medal and three bronze medals.  He has advanced his play in the sports by starting with skill practice and working up to play in matches.

According to Kopperman, the Special Olympics made him a better team player. He learned to work well with a partner and it showed when he and his partner, sophomore Lauren Perrine, won their bronze medal this year.  The experience also helps him meet new people and gives him the competition that he strives for.

“I cannot wait for my basketball season to start Jan. 3 because I love winning,” Kopperman said.