BUTTE — Terri Curran has a joyful outlook and sunny disposition that's hard to miss and it's made her a beloved figure on the Special Olympics Montana stage for decades.
Along the way, she's brightened plenty of people's days while dabbling in just about every sport.
"I've done basketball, I've done cycling, I've done softball, I've done track," the Butte Central product said. "I've done about everything."
She's also tried equestrian, downhill skiing and participated multiple times in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, pointing out that she considers herself good pals with Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester.
Some years ago, she got the chance to transition from a player to a coach with a bocce team. It was a little intimidating at first but she soon found herself to be a natural leader.
And in June, Curran will coach a Billings bocce team at the Special Olympics USA Games at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. That accolade will make her the first SOMT athlete from Montana to coach at the USA Games.
There's a lot of people who are cheering on her accomplishment.
"I'm happy they are and I'm actually happy for myself," she said. "I'm happy for them to be on my side and I'm glad."
Curran's recipe for successfully guiding a team is equal parts kindness, positivity and encouragement.
"It's just helping people feel good and letting them know you're there to support them," she said. "Just be patient."
Outside of coaching, Curran works for BSW (Building Self Worth), a Butte-based thrift store. She splits her time between the actual store on Cobban Street and the processing center on South Wyoming.
She loves her work, but will need to take some time off to get down to Florida where, outside of a making Montana history at the USA Games, she's looking forward to some Sun Belt warmth.
"Seeing some sun, getting some sun," she said with a chuckle. "This is really what I like. I like sun, nice weather."
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