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Man with cerebral palsy bowls 300, easily

July 15, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
In the sport of bowling, you know what 12 consecutive strikes in one game adds up to: 300 -- a perfect game. You probably know someone who has rolled one. Eddie Legault of Valencia has, but that's not what makes Eddie special.He's been throwing strikes for 20 years.

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"He's probably one of the top bowlers in this league, no matter what," said Steve Legault, Eddie's Legault's brother.

But that night in Valencia in late April was different.

"The 11th ball, and everybody stopped bowling, and they're standing right behind his lane, and you could hear a pin drop," said Yvette Boyer, Valencia Lanes manager. "It was amazing."

Eddie Legault then threw his 12th consecutive strike -- a 300, a perfect game.

"You couldn't even hear yourself talk, it was just crazy," said Boyer. "A hundred and twenty people lined up to shake his hand. It was incredible. It brought tears to your eyes."

The tears weren't because Eddie just turned 40; it's because no one had ever seen a man with cerebral palsy bowl a perfect game.

"Right when I hit it, all the rest of the pins just scattered, but the tenpin in slow motion just fell over," said Eddie Legault. "'Yes!'"

Eddie was born with a congenitive heart defect and didn't walk until he was 2 years old. His mom, who still lives with him today, introduced him to bowling. If only doctors, who said he lacked hand-eye coordination, could see him now.

"He must have a thousand gold medals at home. The newspapers said he had 900; he has over -- I have a big bucket -- for swimming, for golf, floor hockey," said Barbara Legault, Eddie's mother.

Eddie carries a 202 average and his team is in first place in a league in Valencia. But in watching him, it's not bowling lessons that you learn, it's life lessons and moments of inspiration.

"Everything is calm in his life," said Steve Legault, Eddie's brother. "If we could all learn to be as calm, I think that's what's most inspiring for me, is how nothing gets to him."

Can you do this again some day, Eddie?

"Either tonight, or ... I hope tonight," said Eddie.

Eddie's always thinking positive.

 

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