Team of Athletes to Represent New York State at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games in Nebraska

April 27, 2010

Neal J. Johnson, President and CEO of Special Olympics New York has announced that eight athletes from New York have been selected to represent the state at National Games held in Lincoln, Nebraska July 18-23, 2010. They will join athletes from 48 states to compete in various sports. This is an opportunity for New York to send our best to compete nationally.

Athletes going to the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games are; Jessica Buckley, Castle Creek, Track & Field; Will Clarke, Porter Corners, Track & Field; Lauren DiGiovanni, Pittsford, Track & Field; Margaret Impey, Penn Yan, Track & Field; Kimberly Martin, West Seneca, Track & Field; Douglas Patterson, Staten Island; Richard Schweitzer, Apalachin, Athletics and Jhonatan Valencia, Mamaroneck, Pentathlon.

This event will have 1,000 coaches and official delegates, 15,000 athlete family members and friends, 8,000 volunteers and an expected turnout of 30,000 spectators.

The athletes at National Games will compete in a range of Olympic-style sports: Track & Field, Aquatics, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Flag Football, Golf, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Powerlifting, Softball, Soccer, Tennis and Volleyball.

National Games is a world-class athletic competition, it will also, provide a venue for discussions and actions about the impact Special Olympics can make on the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Up to 190 million people worldwide have an intellectual disability, making it the largest disability group worldwide. Intellectual disability crosses racial, ethnic, educational, social and economic lines, and can occur in any family.

Every year, thousands of Special Olympics athletes from around the nation come together to showcase their athletic skills and celebrate the true spirit of competition. Through the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games, Special Olympics athletes will transcend the boundaries of geography, nationality, political philosophy, gender, age, culture and religion. This event will transform participants, community leaders, and fans nation-wide through sportsmanship and spirited competition. These Games will help people all over the nation appreciate the values of respect and compassion, which the athletes and their supporters live by every day.