Barbara Campbell once wished her little boy would say something. Anything. Autism rendered her son, Ryan Barts, silent in his first few years. Things have certainly changed. "I'm a celebrity in Central Kentucky, I am, maybe in Kentucky," said Barts, now 22. His speech takes on its own particular cadence, especially when he is excited. "It's a wonderful thing, it is, a wonderful thing." As one of five Kentuckians representing the United States at the Special Olympics World Games in Athens, Greece, starting June 24, Barts happily rattles off his successes and failures on the track.
For a long time, Collin Lutz lived in his own, small world. "The thing about autism," said his mother, Shannon, "is that they like it that way." But Shannon and her husband, Stephen, wanted more for the second of their four children. So when they heard about Special Olympics, they were all in. Collin Lutz, now 18, didn't immediately take to swimming, the sport that is taking him to the world stage as a member of Kentucky's delegation to the 2011 World Games in Athens, Greece, this month.
Tom Watson birdied the first hole in a sudden death playoff to win the 72nd Senior PGA Championship at Louisville’s Valhalla Golf Club. The 61 year old American (pictured) was tied with Steve Eger at ten under par at the end of today’s fourth round. Eger missed a long birdie putt on the first playoff hole, setting the stage for Watson to sink a shorter birdie putt for the title. Kiyoshi Murota finished third at nine under par. Hale Irwin was fourth at eight under par.
As a high school sophomore, Jacob Raleigh made a vow to himself. After Raleigh was part of a Letcher County Central doubles team that lost in the first round of the 2009 Kentucky state tennis championships, he promised he'd get back to the state tournament before his high school days were over. Back then, Jacob would never have dreamed what a challenge that would be. Nor the magnitude of the accomplishment once he pulled it off. The Jacob Raleigh who played in the '09 state tennis tourney was a hard-serving left-hander whose game was built on power. Back then, it would have seemed unnecessary to note he had two arms.
The University of Kentucky Athletic Association Board has approved an annual budget of 83.6 million dollars for the next fiscal year. That's four million dollars more than last year's spending plan. Despite the increase, Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart says there are no plans to give back any additional money to the university for non-athletic scholarships.
Opening round play was interrupted for more than three hours by a thunderstorm.The first day of play had already been postponed by an hour-and-a-half to allow the course to recover from heavy rains that drenched the area Wednesday night. Another round of rough weather around midday sent golfers to the clubhouse and fans looking for shelter. Kyle Swafford of London, Kentucky and his friend Johnny Shouse of Lawrenceburg waited out the storm at the souvenir tent. Swafford said he hasn’t decided whom to root for in the championship.
Uncle Mo, one of the top contenders in tomorrow’s Kentucky Derby, has been scratched from the race. The colt’s owner, Mike Repole announced this morning that he won’t run Uncle Mo in the Derby because of a lingering gastrointestinal problem that was discovered about a month ago. Uncle Mo was the 9-2 second choice in the Derby. Dialed In is the morning line favorite at 4-1.
The owner of Kentucky Derby contender Uncle Mo says he’ll decide no later than tomorrow morning at 9:30 whether his colt will run in the Kentucky Derby. Uncle Mo, the 9-2 second favorite in the Derby, has been hampered by gastrointestinal inflammation but was thought to be improving.