Meet our Runway for the Gold Athlete Models

Meet Max

Max , a graduate of Lake George High School, is 21 years old and has competed in Special Olympics track and field on the local, regional and state levels. Max works for the Air Bon Pain Cafe and is the inspiration behind the polar plunge fundraising team Max’s Buddies, which has raised over $60,000 for Special Olympics!

Meet Izzy

Isabella is 10 years old. She has competed in the 2015 and 2016 Summer Games for gymnastics. She performs in Bars , vault , balance beam and floor exercise. Her medal count is two 4th place, 2 Bronze, 1 Silver and 3 Gold!!!

Meet Kara

My teacher at the time Mrs. Cardnuto suggested my parents to get me involved in this great organization & I am so happy she did. Before Special Olympics I barely spoke. I was shy & kept to myself a lot, once, once I began training as a athlete and developing my skills I came out of my shell and was no longer afraid of people. At 8 years old I began competing in basketball skills and track and field, with the help of Special Olympics and my father who was one of my coaches and also my coach Susan Handerhan I began to thrive. I have participated in many competitions on both local and state levels. I was selected for 2 national games one in Lincoln Nebraska in 2010 and the other in 2014 held in Princeton New Jersey. I was asked to become a Special Olympics ambassador which I gladly accepted. I love being a part of Special Olympics because I have made many friends who also have intellectual disabilities, before Special Olympics I was very shy and didn’t make friends easily but I have overcame that due to participation in this great organization now I tell my story with confidence and courage. I like to tell people in the community what Special Olympics has done for me and what a great program it is to be a part of, lastly I would like to thank my family for all the support that they have given me throughout the years of involvement with Special Olympics. I am very thankful for both my parents, first for dad who coached me for many years, then mom for coming to watch me compete and cheer me on. I would also like to thank my son Christopher for volunteering with Special Olympics and pumping me up so I can always do my best. Thank you also to the other many volunteers ,coaches, and families that support me. Thank you for allowing me to share my Special Olympics adventure with you.

Meet Emily

Emily Stephen has been competing in Special Olympics New York since she was 14 years old. She has tried a variety of sports but the one she loves the most is Alpine skiing and equestrian. In 2013 Emily not only got the honor to represent New York but her country at the 2013 world Winter games and South Korea. Where she received a gold medal and silver metal in Alpine skiing.

Meet Brenna

Brenna is 13 years old.  She attends Shaker Junior High School.  She is a gymnast who has competed in the 2015 and 2016 Summer Games.  She has won a total of 2 Bronze, 3 Silver and 3 Gold!

 

Meet Tommy

 

Hi I am Tom Mooney. I live with my parents my, brother and my pit bull. I am 30 years old and have been participating in Special Olympics since I was 9 years old. I began in basketball skills where I had a hard time making a basket, I was little and the basket was so high. Now when I play I bang out three pointers with ease because now I have game.  That is from a lot of hard practice, the coaches and my teammates that have encouraged me along the way. I have grown a lot over the years with Special Olympics and now I also play tennis, track, swimming, softball, and soccer. Special Olympics has given me a sense of belonging. I have made many friends in the other athletes, coaches as well as the volunteers and even that guy Neil Johnson. Special Olympics has taught me courage to do what I thought I could not do. To be humble when I do win.   The character to be happy for the friend that won even though I did not win. I trained with the best people in the world that like me for me and make me feel like I belong.  I am excited to represent Special Olympics New York in my hometown for State Summer Games coming to Siena this June! That is my story, the story of Tom Mooney growing, learning and winning in Special Olympics.

Meet Bree

Bree is 10 years old and is in 5th grade at Okte Elementary School in Clifton Park.  This will be her third year competing in the State Summer Games for gymnastics.  Her favorite event is vault.  She is excited that the competition is in Albany this year so friends and family can come watch her compete!

 

Meet Nick

Nick is a 19 year old student at Schuylerville, he is loved by the other students!  So much so, that he was elected prom king in his Junior year and last year at his graduation, his class donated $1,000 to Nick’s Polar Plunge.  A couple of years ago, many students took the Polar Plunge with us! He has been swimming with Special Olympics for over 10 years, and does Equestrian in the summer.  He has also participated in Track and Field.  He has competed in local, regional, and state levels. He has a huge collection of ribbons and medals and he is very proud to show them off.

 

Meet Bryce

Meet Chloe

Chloe is a second grader at Stevens Elementary in Burnt Hills. Chloe has a big sister Sophia who is a 7th grader, who enjoys BMX bikes as well as ice hockey. Chloe enjoys coloring and cooking. She recently had the opportunity to try down hill skinning for the first time. She is very excited that she is now eight and can participate in Special Olympics.

 

Meet Stephanie

Meet Sarah 

Sarah is a junior at Colonie High School.  She has competed in Special Olympics beginning in 2016.  Sarah joined Special Olympics to play softball and had a wonderful experience, then proceeded to Alpine Skiing in the winter.  She won 6 gold medals over the season, including a gold at the State Winter Games.

 

Meet Donnie

Hello everyone my name is Donnie Vosburgh. I have been a athlete in Special Olympics track and field for 2 years, My fiance Kara encouraged me to get involved with Special Olympics, I am happy that she got me involved Olympics. I have competed in the local games and state games I love being a Special Olympian and I have made many friends. I thank my mother in law, father in law, and also my coach Sue Handerhan plus my son Christopher which would push me well I am in my events, I do the 100 meter walk and shot put . Thank you for listening to my short biography.

 

Meet Teagan

Teagan Klingenberg is a very active 11 year old girl. She keeps busy participating in dance, cheerleading, ice skating, swimming, yoga, horseback riding and Best Buddies. She enjoys spending time with her friends and she is a 6th grader at Maple Avenue Middle School in Saratoga Springs, NY. Teagan loves her family which includes her Mom (Holly), Dad (Juergen), Brothers (Tyler & Tanner) and beloved dogs (Tucker & Timo).

 

Meet Ava

Ava Charbonneau is 11 years old and attends Shatekon elementary. She loves swimming, dancing, listening to music (most of all Taylor Swift), and is an avid reader. She also loves riding horses through the Special Olympics Equestrian program.

 

Meet Erin

Erin Abernathy Erin is 13 years old and attends Galway Central School. She has attended local and regional special Olympics games since 2014 for equestrian and swimming and has won 5 first place ribbons as well as a couple 2nd and 3rd place ribbons.