36 Intriguing Delawareans • Tony Bowe
One sport stands out for Milford resident Tony Bowe, who competes year-round in Special Olympics programs in track and field, long-distance running, bowling and swimming. “I just love to run, and it’s become my life in sports,” he says. “I like running because you get to see the scenery and exercise. It makes me feel good.” Bowe, a courtesy clerk at Acme, has a developmental disability that makes it hard for him to learn and a severe stutter, largely controlled when he is able to read. He has competed in Special Olympics Delaware for 26 years and was the program’s 1995 Outstanding Athlete.
Bowe, 46, won three gold medals in powerlifting at the 1995 Special Olympics World Games. In the 2010 Special Olympics China National Games, he won a silver in the singles bowling competition and teamed up with his brother Michael to capture a bronze in doubles.
When he hurt his back in 2005, his doctor told him to stop his serious powerlifting. He had been running to keep fit and then made it his primary sport. In 2015, he ran his first community marathon in Rehoboth Beach in 3:41:05, and he is training for a half-marathon this year and a second marathon next year. “In addition to his gentlemanly manners, sweetness and simplicity in his outlook on life, [he is] a runner so fast he can outrun intolerance,” says Special Olympics staffer Ruth Coughlan.