On Monday, I met up with Tyler Lagasse and his mom, Deb at APEX Entertainment Center to celebrate his Special Olympics USA Games silver medal win in Seattle.
We met at the sports simulators and I introduced Tyler and his mom to my mom and my brother, Ryan, who could not make it for the Seattle trip. After that, APEX set us up for a round of golf, and we went live on Facebook. The video includes Tyler’s first swing at the APEX golf simulator. Here’s a sneak peek:
Click here for the full video.
We had the entire evening planned out as seen below:
Since it was my first time playing any kind of golf (besides mini-golf), it took at least five swings for me to get the hang of it. But with the help of Tyler, I caught on fairly quickly. Since he is a lefty, he was especially helpful because watching him was like looking in the mirror. By my 10th swing, I was driving the ball almost 100 yards in the simulator. We only had time for a couple of holes, and Tyler dominated, but I still really enjoyed it. I’m definitely eager to give the golf simulator another try, and you never know, golf could be a sport I could try to play. Of course my broadcasting career will still come first.
Here are some highlights of Tyler and I at the golf simulator:
After finishing at the golf simulator, we had a few minutes to spare before our reserved private go-kart race. We decided to take each other on in a Boston Celtics basketball arcade game. I beat Tyler in this one, totaling over 60 points in two rounds. After our basketball competition, it was time to race.
Tyler, Ryan, my dad, and I were all in the race. We walked back to the go-kart track and put our head socks on. We watched a video on safety rules before putting our helmets on and getting settled in our go-karts. They started the race very soon after. After passing Tyler and my dad early, I knew I was doing well.
I beat Tyler by 0.119 seconds with a fastest lap of 38.015, but came in 2nd to my dad, who’s best time was 36.339. Tyler’s fastest time was 38.134, putting him in 3rd place. He was a few seconds ahead of Ryan, who had a best time of 41.441.
Here are the results, taken directly from an email I received from APEX after the race:
Unlike last time, APEX gave us a sheet with more detailed results:
Here are some highlights from the race:
After that, we headed upstairs to the classic arcade section. We started by facing off in a few rounds of Olympic bubble hockey.
In the first game, there were no goals for a long while, but Tyler beat me 1-0 after I accidentally shot it into my own goal. However, I won the second game, and we both wanted a rubber match. In the rubber match, it was a close one, as Tyler led 2-1 with seconds to go (It requires a goal to end the game). If I scored, it went to overtime. But after a lot of good defense, Tyler scored the game-winning goal to make it 3-1.
Tyler wanted to play Aerosmith pinball after that, one of my favorites. It wasn’t my best day in pinball, but even if it was a good day for me, I wouldn’t have beat Tyler. He had never played pinball before but he was a quick study, scoring over 30000 points, earning the multiball, and a winning a free game. Here are some highlights from the arcade:
Tyler played out his free game, but after that, it was time to bowl. Tayla Normandie, who was assisting Sean MacLaughlin in hosting us for the day, booked us for candlepin in Lane 1. It turned out that Tyler’s mom had Tayla as a cosmetology student at Greater Lowell Tech, where she teaches. She recognized Tayla at that point and caught up with her. After that, Tayla gave us our bowling shoes, and Tyler, Tyler’s mom, my dad, and I began bowling.
We were given full Pit Stop Tavern service from the lanes, and I ordered a delicious chicken tender and french fry meal with BBQ sauce on the side and a Sprite to drink. Tyler ordered buffalo chicken tenders, one of his favorites. I topped Tyler in our first round of bowling. I had my best round in a while, including a strike on Frame 2. But my dad had his best round in a long time with a strike of his own and a grand total of 93. Between all of our competitions, Tyler and I were tied 4-4. So we decided to play one more game of candlepin bowling, just the two of us. I was off to a strong start, but Tyler just got better as he played, and he came back to beat me in a close one. Check out some of the highlights from the bowling alley:
Below are all our competition results from throughout the day. It is almost like we played each other in a mini Olympics.
It turned out that there was a podium at the APEX, so before we said our goodbyes, Tyler and I took a picture on the podium based on our results from throughout the day.
I’d like to thank Marcus Kemblowski, Sean MacLaughlin, Tayla Normandie, Tyler Lagasse, Nick Savarese, and Deb Lagasse for making this experience possible. Stay tuned for more experience posts soon, including coverage of the Special Olympics Massachusetts golf championship.
This post is also available on the Flutie Foundation blog.