Bryan Lambke is the son of Tom and Karen Lambke. An avid sports enthusiast, Bryan was just eight years old when he competed for the first time in the track and field events of the Illinois Special Olympics. Fourteen years later, he stood atop the winner’s platform at the 2003 International Special Olympics in Dublin, Ireland.

   Now, 25 years old, Bryan holds two jobs in the Phoenix Arizona area (he sorts x-rays for shredding at the Center for Habilitation and works as a meeter/greeter at the Chandler AMF Bowling Center). He dreams of getting a driver’s license, living on his own and being married. He continues to participate in Special Olympics and especially enjoys bowling, swimming and basketball. Bryan has two special girlfriends, Nicki and Nicole, and likes going out on dates.

   Tom Lambke is the author of Spirit, Courage and Resolve, the story of Bryan’s road to becoming an International Special Olympics gold medal winner. Spirit, Courage and Resolve was published by Five Star Publications of Chandler, AZ. He is an instructional assistant in special education at Corona del Sol High School in Chandler, Arizona, and volunteers as a coach and umpire for the Special Olympics.

   Tom is the past chair of the Special Olympics Arizona Family Boosters Club, and is also a member of the Advisory Board of Best Buddies, a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Along with his wife Karen, he is the founder and former president of Recreation and Athletics for the Disabled. RAD is a non-profit group in Chandler AZ that financially assists individuals with disabilities to participate in recreational activities. Tom and Karen’s daughter Shauna works with youngsters with special needs at a high school and is studying for a degree in nursing.

Selected Reviews of Bryan and Tom’s Books

I Just Am
Bryan and Tom Lambke
   This is a story about a young man with Down syndrome. These are his thoughts and feelings regarding his disability. It is written with help from his dad and much love.

All too often we shroud ourselves in ignorance thus preventing us from learning from others whom we consider to be somehow “different.” In a book that is both charming and disarming, Bryan Lambke-a young man with Down syndrome-invites us into his world where he lets us know he shares the same dreams and emotions as everyone else.

“I have a disability,” says Bryan. “It is not my fault. I just am.” Bryan, with the help of his father Tom, helps us all examine what is normal about each of us. The book includes additional information about Down syndrome.

   A black-and-white photo-essay by a young adult with Down syndrome.. . . Bryan, who wrote the book along with his dad, speaks candidly about his disability, “It is not my fault. I just am.” . . . engaging and helpful book updates older titles that might describe people as “suffering from” or being “afflicted with” mental retardation. School Library Journal

In Spirit, Courage & Resolve, A Special Olympics Athlete’s Road To Gold, Tom Lambke takes readers on a very personal journal through his family’s life over the years. Young Bryan, who has Down Syndrome, shared his father’s avid interest in sports. He loved to run, and so he was introduced to the Special Olympics when he was only eight years old. Fourteen years later, Bryan stood atop the winner’s platform, a gold medal winner at the 2003 International Special Olympics in Dublin, Ireland. The story of the outpouring of love and support from their hometown will prove to be an inspiration to others needing a nudge to move from the sidelines to becoming actively involved in the Special Olympics.

Program Details

  • Down Syndrome awareness program is designed for students K-12
  • IEPs, Guardianship, Special Olympics, Best Buddies, etc. program is designed for adult audiences

   Tom and Bryan have spoken to audiences ranging from 10 to 200. They will do 2 – 3 presentations in a day. Their fees are negotiable and travel and lodging costs must be covered if the presentation is outside the Phoenix, AZ area. In addition to I Just Am, Tom has written Spirit, Courage and Resolve . . .a Special Olympics Athlete’s Road to Gold.

Additional Information

To learn more about Bryan and Tom and their publications by Bryan please visit