With a very heavy heart we share that a dear member of our BIIS family, athlete and advocate Karen Stallings, passed away on February 1.

It is impossible to even mention Bridge II Sports Boccia and not think of Karen.

Karen Stallings sits in wheelchair smiling with raised arm throwing a boccia ball

She, more than any BIIS athlete, really found her ‘player within’ since discovering Boccia in 2009 when she was in her 50s.  The sport brought so much joy to her life and she was always eager to share that joy with others. Karen was the editor of the BIIS Boccia Buzz newsletter, served on USA Boccia committees and competed at several Nationals, taught the sport to residents of a nursing home, and even named her dog ‘Boccia’!

For several years Karen also hosted her own interview-style TV talk show that gave a platform for others with disabilities to share their stories and…you guessed it…spread the word about adapted sports and Boccia.  She was never afraid to speak up and have her voice heard. 

Even more than the sport, she loved life and all the people around her.  Always a warm smile as she wanted to know how “you” were doing.  Karen had a coy eye that sparkled when she was challenging you. I will never forget that look!  Her competitive side made practice fun – no one could ‘Junk-Talk’ like Karen! Her Boccia community was a place where her heart soared.

We will all miss Karen terribly, but her light will forever glow brightly in the heart of Bridge II Sports and with the boccia team.

Five Bridge 2 Sports Boccia athletes using wheelchairs pose as a team with Karen Stallings in middle

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