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Next Stop: Abu Dhabi

More than 300 athletes, coaches and support delegates brought their A-game to Newark, Delaware on Monday, September 17th for a week-long Training Camp in preparation for Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. With just under six months to go before the start of the Games in March of next year, hopefuls were welcomed by Governor Carney, fitted for official uniforms, trained with fellow athletes, interacted with student-athlete leaders from University of Delaware and even took in a Major League Baseball game in Philadelphia!

Looking for photos from camp events and glimpses of sports training?

Check out our galleries here.

Don’t yet see your sport? We will continue to add photos as we receive them from our incredible volunteer photography team: Nancy Jo Brown, Marco Catini and Ken Smith.

 

Training Camp was Amazing! Check Out the Recap Video

SO USA Training Camp is Coming to Delaware and the Phillies Game – Join Us!

On Monday, September 17th, freshly nominated athletes from across the USA will meet in Newark, Delaware to train with their Special Olympics USA coaches and bond with 200+ other nominees from across the country before traveling to together for Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi next March.

A highlight from Training Camp week will include a team bus trip to watch the Phillies vs. Mets game on Wednesday, September 19th. We’re thrilled to extend you this discount ticket offer reserved exclusively for friends and fans of Special Olympics USA!

 

Discount code/Password: USA

Link to sales page: http://bit.ly/soUSA919

Phillies Flyer

Participating athletes will train in 16 sports: athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, equestrian, golf, gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic), powerlifting, sailing, soccer, swimming (aquatics), table tennis, tennis, triathlon, and volleyball.

 

 

#CHEER4USA Countdown to Abu Dhabi – 6 Months Out

The 2019 Special Olympics World Games will be an iconic and transforming event for Abu Dhabi, the nation, and the world.

In 6 months, SO USA will embark on our voyage to join more than 7,000 Special Olympics athletes, 2,500 coaches & delegates, 170 nations and more than 20,000 volunteers for competition, March 14 – 21, 2019.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram for exciting updates, photos, and videos. And, don’t forget to use the hashtag #Cheer4USA.

 

Auf Wiedersehen, Austria! Hello, USA!

After an amazing Winter World Games, Special Olympics USA has returned home to the States!

Be sure to check out all of our photos on Flickr to re-live the excitement of the Games by clicking the link below:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/soteamusa/albums

And, you can see final results for all of our athletes at the link below:

2017 World Winter Games Results

Special Olympics USA Recap (3/22)

 

Floor Hockey and Skating Recap (3/21)

All three speed skaters competing in the 777m final on Tuesday again set personal records:

  • Craig Licorish, 1:58 (Bronze)
  • Patrick Adams, 1:51 (DQ)
  • Thomas Shimoda, 1:56 (Bronze)

Wednesday’s schedule includes 222m finals for the following skaters:

  • Christina Dryer at 10 a.m.
  • Dana Shick at 10:10 a.m.
  • Cornell Gray at 10:30 a.m.
  • Deontrea Grant at 10:36 a.m.

The traditional floor hockey team from Southern California played Trinidad & Tobago Tuesday and won 11-3. Coach Rodney Hurn said the team didn’t really change its approach from prior games, it’s just getting healthy at the right time. The last few days the team has been shorthanded with at least one player being out due to an illness.

“They’re healing and getting healthy,” Hurn said. “Everybody played today. Their play was much more versatile and more powerful with the extra sleep.”

Jordan Bradley had 9 goals and Casey Lucore had 25 saves in net. The Southern California team is ranked No. 2 in the division and plays Morocco again at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. The game is scheduled to be televised live on ESPN!

The Unified team from New York plays China at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday morning saw Allan Lohr and Ian Rawn practiced their free skate Level 3.

“They got their feet back under them and are ready for competition on Thursday,” said coach Tappie Dellinger.

Sharita Taylor and Joni Talavera competed in Ice Dance Level 2 and 4 today.
“Sharita looked beautiful in her black and red tango dress,” she said. She currently sits in third place out of six. Both of them will skate again in their finals on Thursday along with Allan and Ian.

Joni skated her foxtrot and “carried herself very gracefully across the ice.” She currently sits in second place in her division.
The team took advantage of some downtime and walked around downtown Graz. They then came back to the arena in the evening to watch Michelle Kwan and Trixi Schuba, 1972 Austrian gold medalist, skate with other athletes. The team was lucky enough to pose for a photo with the two of them!

On Wednesday, Laura Beth Matus has Level 2 Free Skate finals at 1:30 p.m, while Sharita and Joni both have practice for their competitions on Thursday.

2017 World Winter Games Results

Results will be updated regularly throughout the Games.

Floor Hockey and Speed Skating Recap (3/18)

Saturday was the first day of competition for the Unified floor hockey team from New York. They had to fit in a lot of games in a short amount of time to make sure they made the trek to Schladming in time for Opening Ceremony and ended the day 3-1 during their divisioning games.

The first match resulted in two goals vs. Uganda with athletes and Unified Partners really working together to pick apart their opponent.

The second game of the day against Cuba brought a different challenge – one this team hadn’t faced before – having to play from behind.

“Our guys were intimidated by the size of the Cubans going in,” Stewart said. “To see them bounce back with two goals after falling behind was nice. They showed heart and resiliency, which I’m sure I’ll need to remind them of as the tournament goes on.”

It was a very physical game, which brought out the best in the young, inexperienced team from New York.

“Some of our Unified Partners play ice hockey and said that they haven’t been hit has hard in those games as they were today (against Cuba and Russia),” Stewart said.

The third game saw them matched up against Russia, which resulted in a 1-5 loss.

“They just had our number every shift,” Stewart said. “But as tough as it was, Max Zalta (Unified Partner) wasn’t discouraged at all and talked to the team afterward. He said he felt if we changed our strategy, manned up more and focused on a defensive approach, it could really help against a team as fast and physical as Russia.”

They put that strategy to use in the team’s final game of the day vs. Bangladesh and came out on top with a 3-0 two-line shortened game.

Another player who really stood out on the court yesterday according was Christopher Lopez (defense) who set the tone against Cuba.

Assistant coach Liz Fernandez said, “The importance of having a Unified Partner and an athlete function in unison is that when they have athletes and sticks in hand, nobody can tell who is who and that’s critically important for a Unified team.”

The traditional florr hockey team from Southern California has at least one game on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Schedule is alwasy subject to change, so please see the full schedule (http://www.specialolympics.org/RegionsPages/GamesSchedule.aspx) for up-to-date information.

Sunday was a day of personal bests for all of Special Olympics USA’s 500m speed skaters:

  • Patrick Adams – 1:11 (personal record by three seconds)
  • Thomas Shimoda – 1:14 (personal record by six seconds)
  • Alyssa Neil – 1:27 (personal record by 18 seconds)
  • Craig Licorish – 1:16 (personal record by 20 seconds)
  • Timothy McConnell – 1:23 (personal record by 28 seconds)

Speed skating coach Ken Hart couldn’t have been more proud or ecstatic of how his skaters competed today during divisioning.

“I think the extra day of practice certainly helped,” Hart said. “They all shot off the line right off the bat and it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s great!’”

Hart kept track of their splits on every lap and noticed the trend of every skater being better on nearly every lap than they had ever been before.

Off the ice, Hart said he looks forward to the next few days as the team has more opportunities to take in everything else World Games has to offer including Olympic Town, Healthy Athletes and cheering on fellow teammates in other sports.

“Tim is the cheerleader of the team, which is surprising because he’s usually so quiet,” Hart said. “I think we’ll see more of that as we move out of divisioning and into the finals.”

Sunday’s schedule includes the following:

  • Women 222m: Dana Shick and Christina Dryer: 10 a.m.
  • Men 222m: Deontrea Grant and Cornell Gray: 10:30 a.m.
  • Men 777m: Patrick Adams, Thomas Shimoda and Craig Licorish: 11:30 a.m.

Floor Hockey and Skating Recap (3/17)

The speed and figure skaters hit the ice and practice towards the end of the week. While the speed skaters were taking laps inside the arena, figure skaters had the outdoor facility for a round of Compulsory Practice.

Laura Beth Matus of Alabama (Level 2) was the first Special Olympics USA figure skaters to train on Friday morning. Figure skating coach Tappie Dellinger said this was Matus’s first time on an outdoor skating arena and while she was nervous, she had a “decent practice working on her stroking and crossovers.” 

Ian Rawn of Texas (Level 3) was tasked with working on his edge quality and his turns. “He was very excited to be back on the ice,” Dellinger said. “He practiced hard and enjoyed being outdoors.”

Allan Lohr of Florida (Level 3) loves a challenge, according to Dellinger. “He’s very laid back, but he certainly can recognize his competition when he sees it – he views it as a challenge. He’s very ready for competition.”

Joni Talavera of Pennsylvania (Level 6) focused on her edge quality today. “She’s much stronger with her edge skills since training camp.”

Meanwhile, the traditional floor hockey team from Southern California played a number of games:

  • T 1-1 vs. Japan
  • W 4-0 vs. Sweden
  • W 6-0 vs. Lithuania
  • L 0-2 vs. Canada
  • W 4-1 vs. China

These games were for regulation teams only and were only for divisioning so the games were shortened to 9 minutes.

Head coach Rodney Hurn said of the team’s 3-1-1 record on Friday, “The first game we should have won. They hadn’t practiced in two weeks, so they were a little rusty, but we got in the groove after that.”

One thing Hurn said the team needs to work on for future games is its passing accuracy, but that the on-court communication between teammates was stellar.

A couple of athletes who stood out today were Jordan Bradley (four goals) and Arianna Gulick who was aggressive as a winger and defender.

“Being a girl out there with all those guys, she wasn’t afraid to throw her butt in front of some big dudes,” Hurn said. “That’s my girl!”

In the lone loss today, Casey Lucore, shined in net stopping 18 Canadian shots.

The team will take the court again on Sunday for the beginning of round robin games (times and opponents TBD).

“We’re really looking forward to the games coming up,” Hurn said.

 
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