Special Olympics Team USA training camp

By Amanda Church

It is hard to put into words how much fun all the Special Olympics athletes had at training camp in Indianapolis, Indiana. Getting great tips from World Games coaches, giving us things to think about as we move forward training for next summer’s 2015 Special Olympics World Games in LA. We also got the opportunity to see a Pacer’s Scrimmage, and take a group photo of all the Team USA Members that will be competing in all the sports at World Games in 2015.

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Special Olympics Massachusetts athlete Amanda Church trains for swimming in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.

We got a surprise as well from Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel, who not only got in a picture with us, but also had a few nice words of encouragement to Special Olympics Team USA!

The team also had the opportunity to hear from Special Olympics athlete and Global Messenger Andrew Peterson, a young man of 21, that was born with an intellectual disability, because his mom drank while she was pregnant with him. This young man grew up in foster care, later was adopted and at age 13 and got involved in Special Olympics.

He is a Special Olympics track and field athlete from Indiana and is one of the well known Global Messengers in the state of Indiana and beyond. He is so inspiring and even though he slowly spoke one word at a time, he was so inspiring to not just the USA athletes that will be competing at World Games, but to all the staff, including coaches, volunteers and sports management staff.

I had a blast, It was a awesome experience and I learned a lot. I also plan to take all the advice and all the tips that each person I met gave me, whether it was at the pool practicing, or just talking at meal time, or at Team USA meetings.  In closing, best wishes to the Massachusetts athletes that will be representing Team USA, and to all the rest of the USA! USA! USA! USA!

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