Special Olympics New York
2012 State Fall Games to be held in Glens Falls
WHO: Mayor J. Diamond, Mayor City of Glens Falls
Betty Little, New York Senator
Lee Czajkowski, Special Olympics New York Athlete
Neal Johnson, President and CEO, Special Olympics New York
WHAT: Press Conference by the City of Glens Falls welcoming Special Olympics New York’s 2012 State Fall Games.
WHEN: 11:00 AM, Tuesday, September 18th
WHERE: Glens Falls City Hall, 42 Ridge Street, Glens Falls, NY 12081
WHY: Special Olympics New York’s 2012 State Fall Games are among three annual State Games and more than 3,500 competitive experiences held each year throughout New York. Nearly 1,000 athletes and coaches from across the state will be competing in seven Olympic-style sports including Bocce, Cycling, Cross County, Equestrian, Softball, Soccer and Golf. All events are free and open to the public.
Special Olympics New York athletes train and compete year-round in 22 sports, the Young Athlete Program and the Motor Activities Training Program – at no cost to the athlete, their families or caregivers.
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Special Olympics New York:
Michelle Iorizzo, 518-388-0790 ext. 109, email@example.com , cell 518-380-0909 (media inquiries only)
February 14, 2012 –
Robert Sansaricq turned 20 on September 16 and lives in Ghent, NY with his mom and dad. His three older sisters have relocated to the NYC area to start their individual careers. Robert goes to the Wildwood School in Albany and is in their “Young Adult program”. Robert’s favorite and most successful sport is running, although, he also enjoys swimming, music, the visual arts, and staying overnight in a variety of his favorite hotels. He has great logo and brand recognition. Robert has classic autistic features that, in his case, involve a severe speech deficit, which makes his needs and initiatives difficult to express. One of his greatest forms of expression and physical release is his running.
Robert has the physical build and efficient style of a distance runner. He is 5′ 9″ and 130 lbs. with steely concentration and determination when running. Robert thoroughly loves the freeing quality of running along country trails and quiet roads in Columbia County. I know this because as his father, coach and best bud, we run and cross-train together year-round. I have come to know so much more about Robert’s personality and will to succeed because of the quality time we spend on the roads and at home. He is a perfect joy to be with. I would not want Robert to be anyone else but who he is today. Together, this “father and son” team is making strides to change the community landscape one person at a time towards greater awareness, inclusion and acceptance of individuals with special needs or individuals who are simply perceived to be different. We, as a community are more similar than dissimilar to those individuals with special needs. I speak from my heart when I say I am happy with my son just the way he is and proud to walk, and often run, the streets of our community shoulder to shoulder, with him.
The story of Robert’s running feats began about a year and half ago. At first, we ran just a few miles at a time and then I began to realize Robert had the talent, cardiovascular capacity, and stride of a great runner. Currently Robert is a 5k or 3.1 mile specialist but we are trying out longer distances to see how he manages. His weekly mileage average is about 15 – 20 miles, which includes hills and road work. Robert does not like the structure of a track. We also do cross-training to improve conditioning and avoid injury, which includes light weights, sit-ups, swimming and snowshoeing (weather permitting). I watch him like a hawk to avoid injuries. Even with a hint of something developing I curtail his training program. So far so good, no injuries. You can tell Robert is comfortable and happy when he gives you a look with a big smile, curls up his hands and wrists against his chest, and screeches with glee! If you ask him how he feels he will say, “happy!” If he is not, he will be distant, look away, and silent.
Over a series of wonderful 5K community events which have taken us from “Silks & Satins” in Saratoga to the “Dutchess Classic” in Poughkeepsie, Robert has competed bravely and has impressed and moved people with his subtle, innocent charm and talent. His hand shake is soft but his heart is strong. Robert’s best time in the 5K was 20:36 at last year’s “Run Away the Stigma” in North Greenbush. As Robert is consistently under 21 minutes for the 5K, I decided to try him out in a half marathon or 13.1 miles, with no specific goal except to use it as a training run. This was last week’s Hudson Mohawk Half Marathon. The run spans from North Colony Town park along the Hudson to the Albany Corning preserve. I was amazed to see how resilient and determined Robert really is. He finished 2nd in his age group and 92nd overall out of approximately 600 runners. Dad finished right behind him and was there to provide him with energy goo and fluids. Robert’s time was 1hr. 42 min.- pretty impressive for a “workout.” We had so much fun and got so much support from fellow runners and the communities along the way. Robert and I are members of the KinderhooK Runners Club. We love our club members. They are so supportive and are learning more about Robert with each group run. Incidentally, because of Robert’s running feats, which he shares with his teacher and school mates, Wildwood began a weekly running club in their gym whereby you earn a coupon with each lap you complete. The coupons are used to exchange for special treats. Happily, Robert earns 20 or more coupons at a time. Robert was also the first Special Olympics Athlete and student/worker from Wildwood to compete in the Workforce Challenge 2011 in Albany this past May. Starting right from the front line, Robert competed with over 8,000 athletes over a 3.5 mile course through the streets of downtown Albany.
The upcoming goals have adjusted with the discovery that Robert can go “long”. Next weekend Robert will join his Special Olympic Athletes for the Special Olympics New York Fall Games in Queensbury, NY. This will be a hilly 5K cross-country race. We are looking forward to this event, as it is affiliated with SONY, and Robert may get his wish and stay at a hotel! The next road race will be the 15K or 9.3 mile Stockade-a-thon in Schenectady. We now know Robert will finish the distance, but how well will he do? Come on over and cheer from the sidelines – “Go Robert!” or as bystander recently yelled out, which still resonates, “Go Father & Son”.
November 2, 2011
More than 1,000 athletes and coaches along with their families attended the 2011 State Fall Games October, 21-22, in Glens Falls to share in the power of sport and the spirit of Special Olympics.
This was the first time these Games have been held in Glens Falls and by all accounts, the weekend was a great success. The Opening Ceremonies featured local talent and great community attendance. The venues were all first-rate and the athletes were supported by 1,000 enthusiastic volunteers as they competed in Bocce, Cross Country, Cycling, Equestrian, Golf, Soccer Team and Softball Team.
Thank you to our two Honorary Co-Chairs, State Senator Betty Little and Rick Emanuel, Publisher of The Post-Star. The Games Organizing Committee, led by GOC Chair Amy Collins, welcomed us into the community and we thank them for their support and collaboration during the months of planning for this event.
Special thanks to our Gold and Silver Sponsors – The Post-Star, CSEA, Knights of Columbus, NYSUT, Chobani, Federation of New York Professionals, Mattel, Amtrak and CR Bard.
We would also like to show our gratitude these sponsors for their support:
- City of Glens Falls
- Glens Falls Foundation
- State Farm Insurance
- The Fredette Family
- CVS Caremark
- Regional Radio Group
- The Kiwanis Club of Glens Falls
- Glens Falls National Bank
- Mannix Marketing
- Trampoline Design
- Schaap Moving Systems
- Wells Communications
- Arch Wireless
- Senator Betty Little
- Adirondack Broadcasting Company
Their generous contributions ensure that we can provide athletic training and competition at no cost to our athletes, their families or caregivers.
September 7, 2011
2011 State Fall Games – October 21-22, 2011 – Glens Falls, NY
Glens Falls, NY – In just 2 weeks, more than 900 athletes and coaches from across New York State will attend 2011 State Fall Games, October 21st and 22nd at various venues throughout Glens Falls. The State Fall Games are one of three annual state games and more than 3,500 total competitions held each year throughout New York. All events are free and open to the public.
Honorary Co-Chairs of the State Fall Games are New York State Senator Betty Little and Rick Emanuel, publisher of the Post Star.
Thanks to the overwhelming support and generosity of the community, we are happy to announce that all the task-related volunteer roles are full except for the cheering section, “Fans in the Stands.” This is a very important role as many athletes travel far and do not always have the opportunity for their families to attend and cheer them on. So, we encourage you to attend the competitions and light the fire within these champions to give them that extra boost of encouragement to go for the gold. Sign in at Volunteer Registration, create a sign or banner at any of our Fan Stations located at each venue and have a great time cheering on our athletes!
Opening Ceremonies, Friday, October 21st, 7:00 PM, Glens Falls Civic Center
This event offers athletes, families, coaches and fans an evening of fun and celebration. Numerous Glens Falls community members are participating in the event, bringing the area in touch with Special Olympics athletes from across the state. The night will start with the Parade of Athletes brought in by the Glens Falls City School Band, followed by the Honor Guards, motivational speakers, local dancers and live music by TJ Fredette. Come out, enjoy the entertainment and watch as area Law Enforcement escort the Torch into Opening Ceremonies declaring the games open!
Athletic Competition, Saturday, October 22nd, 8:30am-4:00pm
More than 900 athletes and coaches from across the state will participate in seven Olympic-style sports including:
• Bocce – ADK Sports Complex, 326 Sherman Avenue, Queensbury, NY
• Cycling – Queensbury High School, 409 Aviation Road, Queensbury, NY
• Cross Country – Queensbury High School, 409 Aviation Road, Queensbury, NY
• Equestrian – Dream Catcher Ranch, 155 Burquist Road, Fort Ann, NY
• Golf – Hiland Park Country Club, 195 Haviland Road, Queensbury, NY
• Soccer – Morse Athletic Complex, Sherman Avenue, Glens Falls, NY
• Softball – ADK Sports Complex, 326 Sherman Avenue, Queensbury, NY and Morse Athletic Complex, Sherman Avenue, Glens Falls, NY
Corporate sponsors making this event possible include the Knights of Columbus, CSEA, Chobani, C.R. Bard and the Post Star.