Thursday, October 19, 2000

N. Ky. golfer strikes gold




By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BURLINGTON — Chris Revay, 25, returned from Tennessee this week, humble and happy about the gold medal he brought home from the first-ever national Special Olympics golf tournament.

        At the three-day competition, his winning score was an 83 on an 18-hole course — testimony to the hard work he's invested in the sport since he began competing six years ago.

[photo] Chris Revay, 25, of Burlington shows the gold medal he won at the national Special Olympics golf tournament in Tennessee.
(Enquirer photo)
| ZOOM |
        “I love it — just going out and having fun, trying to beat the course,” said Mr. Revay, a 1995 Boone County High School graduate and an employee at the Gap warehouse in Hebron.

        He was one of six Northern Kentuckians who competed this past weekend. Luke Rutterer of Fort Mitchell also won a gold medal. Cassie Eiseman and Dave Zimmerer, playing as a team, earned a silver. Vicki Wagner and Debbie Staggs, another team, took a bronze.

        Mr. Revay's coup at the competition solidifies his reputation as Kentucky's best Special Olympics golfer.

        Mr. Revay brought home a bronze medal from the World Games held in North Carolina in 1999. He also has taken the state title for the last couple of years.

        Mr. Revay is shy about the accolades.

        “Oh, boy! That's cool,” he responded when talking about his most recent win.

        His golfing career didn't start this way, said Mark Staggs, Northern Kentucky Special Olympics program director.

        He has known Mr. Revay for almost a decade. Mr. Revay was competing in Special Olympics soccer and basketball when, in 1994, a golf team was formed.

        Mr. Staggs said Mr. Revay couldn't hit a golf ball beyond 50 feet when he first started. But he paid attention to the team's instructors at World of Sports in Florence and Golf Ranch in Burlington.

        He often walked to practice in Florence.

        “Chris' God-given ability is that he memorizes what to do,” Mr. Staggs said. “He never falls back to the old habits. It's a pretty amazing gift as far as golf is concerned.”

        Mr. Revay practices often and still works with the World of Sports and Golf Ranch instructors. He also continues to compete in other Special Olympics events.

        But golf has become his No. 1 activity.

        He is hoping to compete in the 2003 World Games in Ireland. His attitude is reminiscent of many top-notch athletes.

        “It doesn't matter if you win or lose — it's just if you have fun,” he said.

       



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