Article by Monica Brown
Tulalip Tribal member Tyler Fryberg has set his mind to return to the Special Olympics Summer Games this year. Tyler has been participating in sports activities like track and field, cross country, basketball and bowling, since high school. Prior to the summer games last year, Tyler was asked to carry the Special Olympics Torch, which he gladly accepted and ran 18 miles.
“I definitely want to carry the torch this summer,” said Tyler “it’s so much fun.”
For the past few weeks Tyler and the Marysville team have been training and preparing for the Northwest Regional Spring Sports Festival on May 5th, 2013 at Marysville Pilchuck High School. Tyler will make every effort during the festival to qualify for the Special Olympics Summer Games that will be held at Joint Base Lewis – McChord on May 31-June 2.
This year at the festival, Tyler will be taking part in the 100 meter and the 4 X 100 meter relay along with two extra events; the shot put and the 400 meter.
“I’m okay at shot put” says Tyler, “The ball is eight pounds and my best throw is ten meters.” Tyler has been practicing the shot put since the beginning of winter.
Even though Tyler has FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome), he has not let that determine his limits in life. In high school Tyler was accepted on the varsity track team at Monroe High School and ran a 5:28 mile. Tyler explains, “For someone that has a disability, I was trying to prove that they could get on the varsity track team, and I did. I was on the varsity team for two years.”
Tyler maintains a busy schedule of sports, training, school and volunteering. His favorite sport is running, but Tyler participates in other activities such as bowling and basketball.
“I actually won the bowling tournament, that was kind of cool.” boasts Tyler.
Along with sports, Tyler has an active interest in criminal justice. Last year he began taking criminal justice classes at Everett Community College. He contacted the Tulalip Police Department (TPD) and met with the Police Chief at the time, Jay Goss, and began volunteering in the office.
“It’s an interesting story,” laughs Tyler, “I came in and asked for a ride-along, I had a meeting with Chief Goss and I told him all about myself, and that because I have a disability I couldn’t get a real job, but he said I could volunteer instead.” At the TPD, Tyler gains extra experience in the criminal justice field by helping out around the office.
“Ty is very helpful,” says Shawn Edge of the Tulalip Police Department, “he’s always here at the busiest time of the day and he’s always here to help with the stuff that we can’t get to. “