POLO – A Polo man went to the Special Olympics USA Games a competitor, and came home a champion.
Scott DeWall, 47, took the gold in the singles division of Unified Bocce in last week's games in Seattle.
DeWall, who works at McDonald's in Dixon, also competed in the Unified Team division, where Illinois took third, and in Unified Doubles, where he and John Fayhee of Rockford, his unified partner, took fifth (a unified partner is a Special Olympics competitor who does not have a disability).
The pair are four-time state bocce champs.
DeWall’s cousin, Kris Bardell, gave him a shout out on Facebook, and when Polo firefighter and Public Education Officer Ken Yingling saw it, the two collaborated on a surprise.
As DeWall reached the intersection of Lowell Park Road and Pines Road, fire and police vehicles, lights flashing and sirens blaring, were waiting to escort him downtown, where a crowd gathered to welcome him home.
DeWall was blown away by the escort, and even more shocked by the folks cheering him on Mason Street.
“I was not expecting this. This is awesome,” DeWall said. “I am so appreciative of Polo. I'm always going to remember this as a great day, and a great night.”
“It’s always fun to do something special when someone does something amazing like that,” Yingling said.
The USA Games ran July 1 to 6 at the University of Washington Husky's Stadium.
Did the competition rattle him?
“No, I was focused,” DeWall said.
“I was too busy focusing on where to throw, and where to hit. It felt amazing when I threw that game-winning shot.”
DeWall is the son of Elaine Guyer and Jim DeWall, who were on later flights and missed the escort home.
Only 46 athletes and four unified partners were chosen statewide to compete in the Special Olympics USA Games, held July 1 to 6 in Seattle.
Go to shawurl.com/39p7 to see video, shot at his Dixon workplace, on which gold medalist Scot DeWall of Polo learns he is one of the chosen few.