Over the past few months nearly 1,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities between the ages of 2 and 7 have participated in Special Olympics Massachusetts’ Young Athletes™ events throughout the state. If you’re not familiar with the Young Athletes program, it’s a developmentally appropriate play program for children with intellectual disabilities that is designed to foster physical, cognitive and social development. We love being able to introduce the importance of sports programming to this younger age group and allow them one of their first opportunities to participate in physical activity and couldn’t do it without community partners who feel the same way. This year we have been extremely proud to partner with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to bring Young Athletes to life. “We are pleased to be part of the Young Athletes program,” said Jeff Bellows, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. “Helping young people learn the importance of being active and the value of a healthy lifestyle is critical to creating a more vibrant community for everyone. That is why we are proud to partner with Special Olympics to support this important programming across the commonwealth.” The growth of the Special Olympics Massachusetts Young Athletes program over the last few years has been tremendous and we can’t wait to watch the impact it continues to make throughout the community as we move forward.
When Special Olympics athlete Anthony (Trey) Marabella found out the nominees chosen to the represent Massachusetts at the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles, he wanted to share his own experience going to the Special Olympics USA (National) Games in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2010.
My name is Anthony J. Marabella III (Trey). I am proud to be a Special Olympics Athlete in Massachusetts. I was chosen in 2010 along with my teammates the Life Survivors to represent the state of Massachusetts at the 2010 Special Olympics USA Nationals in Lincoln, Nebraska and our team won the bronze medal and I felt honored and privileged to have been chosen to represent the state of Massachusetts at those games.
It was an experience I will never forget because I got to make some great memories and moments as well as develop new friendship and meet Mr. Tim Shriver, the son of founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Being in the Special Olympics means so much to me because I feel part of something special and I love the passion, commitment, desire, devotion and love for sports that I have given as well as my teammates and want to thank my coaches as well for motivating me and helping me to achieve my goals and dreams.
I also like that everyone in the Special Olympics is treated as equals and makes you feel like you are part of something special and part of something that all of the people involved with this great organization love doing and enjoy doing and thanks to it’s founder we are all allowed to do this and have fun and make friends and play the sports we love and even volunteer at events as well.
We are excited to announce the Special Olympics Massachusetts athletes selected for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.
Athletics: Laurene Rice, Mike Shaprio.
Aquatics: Amanda Church, Jennifer Harrington, Brandon Wood.
Bowling: Susan Davitt, Christopher Drewniak.
Alternates: Kelsey Gaffney, Carl Hanson, Lauren Hopper, Kevin Auger.
The official medal count for Special Olympics Massachusetts at USA Games.
Aquatics – 6 Gold, 7 Silver, 2 Bronze, 3 Fourth Place, 1 Fifth Place
Athletics (Track & Field) – 5 Gold, 3 Silver, 6 Bronze, 5 Fourth Place, 2 Fifth Place, 1 Sixth Place, 2 Seventh Place
Basketball – 1 Bronze
Bocce – 9 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze,
Bowling – 4 Gold, 2 Bronze, 2 Fourth Place, 1 Fifth Place, 1 Sixth Place
Cycling – 2 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze, 1 Fourth Place
Flag Football – 1 Bronze
Golf – 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze, 1 Fourth Place
Gymnastics – 2 Gold, 3 Silver, 4 Bronze, 1 Fourth Place
Powerlifting – 4 Silver, 2 Bronze
Soccer – 1 Bronze
Tennis – 1 Gold, 3 Bronze
Tyler May was inspired to join Special Olympics because of Tyler Lagasse. May is from Washington state and Lagasse is from Massachusetts. A country apart, the golfers met for the first time at the 2014 USA Games where they both medaled.
Meet Special Olympics Massachusetts gymnastics coach Rory Riley with USA Games gymnasts Jessica Monfreda and Samantha Berndt.
Powerlifter and Special Olympics Massachusetts athlete Sam Belinsky gives his take on the Opening Ceremony and more, from the 2014 USA Games in New Jersey.