Special Olympics Athlete Craig Ludin to be Inducted into The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

September 16, 2006

Long Island Native One of Eleven to Receive Prestigious Award SCHENECTADY, NY – Special Olympics New York is pleased to announce that Craig Ludin, a Special Olympics athlete from Long Island, will be inducted into The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on April 29, 2007. Craig, a winner of two bronze medals and one silver at the recent Special Olympics National Games in Iowa, has attended numerous New York State Games and won gold, silver and bronze medals. His favorite sport is swimming and he dreams of making it to the Special Olympics World Games in the future.

“We are always so proud when one of our athletes receives outstanding recognition, and national recognition at that,” said Special Olympics New York president and CEO Neal J. Johnson. “Craig is a wonderful athlete and a terrific example of what an individual with an intellectual disability can achieve. Special Olympics strives through sports to help increase athletes’ courage and confidence, which carry into all aspects of their lives. I’m sure Craig is as pleased with himself as he certainly deserves to be. Craig has long been a personal inspiration to me. “

“Craig has always dreamed big. It’s what’s gotten him where he is today,” said Hall of Fame Director Alan Freedman. “Craig is an amazing young man, and we are thrilled that he is one of the inductees for 2007.” The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is dedicated to honoring Jewish athletes, coaches, executives and others who have distinguished themselves in the world of sports.

In addition to Craig, other inductees include swimmer Mark Spitz, broadcaster Howard Cosell, marathoner Deena Kastor and seven others from the world of sports. The induction ceremony will be held at the Suffolk Y JCC in Commack, NY. The Suffolk Y JCC is an agency of UJA Federation and affiliated with JCC Association. For more information, contact Alan Freedman at 631-462-9800, ext. 119.

Long Island Special Olympic Athlete Sean O’Rourke to Compete at 2006 Special Olympics USA National Games

June 23, 2006

Local Athlete joins Team New York in Ames, Iowa July 2- 7 Special Olympics New York announced today that Long Island Special Olympics athlete Sean O’Rourke has been selected to compete at the inaugural Special Olympics USA National Games, July 2 – 7, 2006, in Ames, Iowa. Sean is among 3,000 Special Olympics athletes selected nationally to compete at the Games.

Selected after qualifying at last year’s State Summer Games on Long Island at Hofstra University, Sean is competing in Track and Field. In 2005, Sean ran the U.S. Marine Corp Marathon and a week later, the ING New York City Marathon, finishing both under 4:30.

Sean resides in Bayshore, New York and has been a Special Olympics athlete for 15 years. Also a cyclist, at one race Sean carried his bike across the finish line because it broke down a few miles from the finish. Afterwards he stated “I never ever didn’t finish a race.”

For the first time, Ames, Iowa will be transformed into an Olympic Village to host 3,000 athletes, 2,000 coaches and delegates, 12,000 family members and friends, 8,000 volunteers, and 30,000 spectators at the 2006 Special Olympics USA National Games. Sports competition includes swimming, track and field, basketball, gymnastics, motor activities, powerlifting, bowling, tennis, golf, softball, bocce ball, soccer and volleyball. In the spirit of Olympic-type sports, there will be spectacular Opening and Closing Ceremonies, a Special Olympics Festival, a National Youth Summit, and symposiums. For more information, please visit www.2006nationalgames.org.

Summer Games Brings Home the Gold

June 22, 2005

Third Time a Charm at Hofstra University. The Hofstra University campus was the epicenter of great competition, inspiring moments, new records, fun, smiles and excitement for three straight days as the Special Olympics New York 2005 Summer Games came to town. More than 3,000 athletes and coaches competed in the games on Long Island from June 16-19.

The Games started with a bang at the Opening Ceremonies on Thursday night. Although the Ceremony was set to take place outside at the soccer stadium, a storm blew in and forced it inside to the Hofstra Arena. The arena could hardly contain the excitement as the athletes came in to thunderous applause. Senator Charles Schumer, the senior Senator from New York, attended the Ceremonies despite the weather delay. He congratulated the athletes on their accomplishments and wished them the very best in the competitions to come. Local law enforcement officers then came into the arena, still wet from the downpour while they ran the final leg of the Flame of Hope, and with the help of Long Island Athletes Donna Grillotti and Dan Carrochio lit the torch. SONY President and C.E.O. Neal J. Johnson, along with Male Athlete of the Year Paul Asaro, officially opened the Special Olympics New York 2005 Summer Games.

“The competition over the next two days was phenomenal,” said Peter Lawrence, Vice President of Competition. “There were so many great and inspiring moments that it wouldn’t be fair to single out just one. The athletes did what they do best: competed, showed what true sportsmanship is all about and had a great time doing it.”

After two full days of competition the Games came to a close, but only after the gold medal basketball game. “The game was great,” said Johnson. “It was a wonderful opportunity to allow everyone to watch an exciting game that they normally would too busy to see, and the athletes on both the Long Island and Queens teams were great.”

After the game the Closing Ceremonies officially brought an end to a great Summer Games. Peter Lawrence relayed “ I will remember these Summer Games for a very long time to come.”

Why Wait For 2012? Olympics Already in New York

May 25, 2005

Nearly 3,000 Athletes and Coaches to Participate in Special Olympics New York 2005 Summer Games With the swirl of preparations underway for New York as a potential Olympic site in 2012, many New Yorkers may not be aware that there are Olympic Games already taking place in the region. The Special Olympics New York (SONY) 2005 Summer Games will be held at Hofstra University on Long Island from June 16-19.

For an unprecedented third consecutive year, SONY’s Summer Games are returning to the Hofstra campus. “The combination of excellent facilities and an extremely supportive community made the decision easy for us,” said Neal J. Johnson, SONY’s President and C.E.O.

Nearly 3,000 athletes and coaches will compete in the 2005 Summer Games. The Games will commence with Opening Ceremonies and the lighting of the Flame of Hope on Thursday evening. Competition will take place Friday and Saturday in eight Olympic-style events: basketball, bowling, gymnastics, power lifting, swimming, tennis, track & field and volleyball. After the competition is completed the weekend will wrap-up with Closing Ceremonies and the Victory Dance.

“We’re excited to be coming back to Long Island and Hofstra University for an unprecedented third straight year,” said Johnson. “This is the first time in SONY’s 35 year history that state games are staying at one location for more than two consecutive years. Based on our experiences in 2003 and 2004, we know that this year will be even better than the first two.”

Summer Games are made possible through the generosity of many sponsors including: New York Lottery, Fraternal Order of Police, Cablevision.

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