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July 02, 2014 | North America: Michigan

An Unspoken Bond

By Aaron Mills

A year ago, Tate Levendoski and Leoudy Sosa didn't know each other or have a way to communicate with each other. The two met through Project UNIFY. Tate was paired with Leoudy, who also happens to be deaf, for Unified bowling. The two formed an instant bond despite the fact that they had to overcome a major language barrier. "I didn't know sign language, but through the hallways we gave each other high fives," recalls Tate. The pair's inability to communicate didn't last long, though. "Leoudy showed me a sign language website," says Tate. "Every night before bed, before I go to school, whenever I have some time, I go through and learn new signs. And ever since then, I'm signing with him and...we've been talking back and forth." Tate and Leoudy represented Team Michigan in Unified bowling at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey, winning the gold medal in their division! But the medals they brought home are nothing compared to the lifelong friendship they formed.

About Aaron Mills: Aaron Mills is the Public Relations and Social Media Manager at Special Olympics Michigan.
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