Hamilton mayor on gold medal Special Olympian: ‘A role model for all of us’

Adam Gibbemeyer, a Butler County Special Olympian who won two bocce medals in the 2022 USA Games, is joined by Tonja Pohlman, left, area coordinator of the Butler County Special Olympics, and Debbie Williams, district coordinator for Southwest Ohio Special Olympics. PHOTO BY ERICA BOWLING/CONTRIBUTED

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Adam Gibbemeyer, a Butler County Special Olympian who won two bocce medals in the 2022 USA Games, is joined by Tonja Pohlman, left, area coordinator of the Butler County Special Olympics, and Debbie Williams, district coordinator for Southwest Ohio Special Olympics. PHOTO BY ERICA BOWLING/CONTRIBUTED

Adam Gibbemeyer walked into a recent Hamilton City Council meeting wearing two medals around his neck he won at the 2022 USA Special Olympics Games.

He left with a proclamation and a golden smile.

Gibbemeyer won a gold and bronze medal in bocce at the Special Olympics in Orlando, and during last week’s City Council meeting, a short video was shown of him rolling the gold medal-winning ball. He and his teammate ran with excitement after they won.

Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller called the spontaneous celebration “absolutely one of the most purest emotional moments” he had ever seen.

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Later, Moeller read a proclamation that named Gibbemeyer, 39, a 2002 Lakota West High School graduate and Ross Twp. resident, an “honorary Hamiltonian.”

The mayor called Gibbemeyer, who has been a Butler County Special Olympics athlete for 30 years in various sports, “a role model for all of us.”

Hamilton councilman Joel Lauer said Gibbemeyer is “an amazing young man” and “dynamic kid.”

Gibbemeyer, the only Butler County athlete competing this year in the USA Games that included 5,500 athletes. won a gold medal in doubles, a bronze medal in singles and his team of two men, two women finished fifth.

Gibbemeyer and his Butler County bocce partner, Bobby Zeisler, 44, won a gold medal at the 2019 Special Olympics summer games in Columbus. Since Ohio was allowed to take four bocce players to the USA Games that are held every four years, all the names of the state gold medalists were placed in a hat and four names were drawn.

He was joined at the council meeting by his parents, Paul and Phyllis Gibbemeyer, Hamilton City Council member Eric Pohlman and his wife, Tonja area coordinator of Butler County Special Olympics, Debbie Williams, district coordinator for Southwest Ohio Special Olympics, and Lauer.

Moeller also presented Tonja Pohlman a certificate of recognition for her many years of service to the Special Olympics.

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