USA Games & World Games


USA Games

2018 USA Games

The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted by Seattle, Washington on July 1-6, 2018. 3,500 athletes will compete in 16 Olympic-style individual and team sports, with the support of 1,000 coaches, 10,000 volunteers and over 60,000 family, friends and spectators.

The Special Olympics USA Games celebrate the Special Olympics movement, promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport, and showcase athletes from throughout the U.S. and the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. The USA Games also highlight Special Olympics' work in sport, education, health and communities.

For more general information about the USA Games at https://www.specialolympicsusagames.org/


Team South Dakota
In honor of this year's 50th anniversary, Special Olympics South Dakota will be represented by 51 athletes across the state!  Team South Dakota will be departing for Seattle on June 30th.  Athletes will be competing in the sports of:
Unified Bocce - 8 athletes
Athletics - 4 athletes
Swimming - 4 athletes
Softball - 15 athletes
Basketball - 10 athletes
Unified basketball - 10 athletes


Competition Schedules:


Meet Team South Dakota




























Athletics Athletes:

Adrianna Bamsey
Adriana is 16 years old, she lives in Sioux Falls SD and attends Roosevelt High School. She enjoys being with animals such as horses. Her favorite sport is basketball, bowling, soccer and track and field. She likes sports days, and having activities to go to and meet a lot of new friends. She is proud of signing the STWTETW poster at her school. If it were not for the USA games, she would not be able to travel to another part of the country.
 
Samuel Howell
Samuel is 16 years old, he joined Special Olympics in the Madison area in 2015. Samuel feels his friends help him succeed by allowing him to be himself and providing leadership to others. Special Olympics gives him an outlet for his abundance of energy. It also gives him a chance to meet new friends, and build skills as an athlete.  Samuel is excited about the life changing experience of the 2018 USA Games. Samuel participates in track/field, swimming and bowling. Samuel has sung in his school choirs and played the saxophone in band (6-8 grade). He likes walking while listening to music, video games, traveling, and amusement parks/rides. Representing South Dakota in the USA Games is an important step in Samuel's life as an athlete.
 
Chana Sandoval
Chana has been in Special Olympics for 23 years. She loves everything about Special Olympics but probably loves the socialization most of all. She is going to train extra hard for the Pentathlon so she can improve my times and distances. Because of Special Olympics she has gotten to meet many new friends. She is not as shy as she used to be. It has made her more physically fit and she stays active. I love it?She can hardly wait for the 2018 USA Games!
 
Tanner Stirling
Tanner is 21 years old, his family consists of one sister and his mom and dad. He has been a part of Special Olympics for 13 years. Tanner participates in track/field, basketball, softball, swimming and bowling. Tanner loves to meet new people and Special Olympics gives him that opportunity. He likes to compete, and he tries his hardest to “go for the gold”. Some of Tanner’s accomplishments include graduating from high school and college and volunteering at a nursing home. In his spare time Tanner likes to hang out with his friends and play video games. Going to the USA Games has been a dream of Tanners, he is proud to represent South Dakota.
 
 
 
 
Bocce Athletes:

Mallory Bingham
Mallory started Special Olympics when she was 12 years old, she competed in basketball, bowling, track/field and for a short time, swimming. When she was older, she started in unified bocce. When Mallory is not competing in Special Olympics, she bowls on two leagues, likes to have coffee with her friends and babysits her little cousins. Her favorite sports are bocce, basketball, track/field, swimming and bowling. Being a part of Special Olympics has made Mallory more confident in herself and she feels it has made her a better person. Mallory was SOSD Athlete of the year in 2015, she attended the USA Games in 2010 for basketball. Mallory is honored to be chosen to represent her state for the second time.
 
 

Matthew Morin
Matt has been in Special Olympics for over 20 years in a variety of events. The trips to state events have taught Matt independence, has given him a chance to travel with friends, and he has had the opportunity to experience different sporting events. Matt participates in bowling (it’s his best) bocce, swimming, track/field, softball, basketball and skiing. Matt has a job working at Black Hills Works, he does mowing and works with the janitorial crew. Matt also likes to collect caps (hats), watch sporting events, and has an interest in the weather. USA Games is the biggest event he has ever participated in, Matt looks forward to being on the South Dakota Team.
 
 

Dominick Rosenlund
Dominick has been participating in Special Olympics since 6th grade. His favorite sport is basketball, he also participate in soccer, bocce, bowling, and track/field. Dominick says he enjoys Special Olympics a lot more now that his school starting Unified Sports about 5 or 6 years ago. Being a part of Special Olympics has increased Dominick’s self- confidence. Unified Sports has helped him make friends. Dominick is the Hamlin School Chargers Team Manager and has been for 4 years. Dominick was the Special Olympic Athlete of the Year in 2016. Dominick also loves fishing, tubing and most recently he has learned to ski. He has been involved in the Project Search program at SDSU. Dominick says he is the “luckiest guys in the world” because he is representing South Dakota in the USA Games. He has been involved in Special Olympics for 10 years.
Denelle Wilson
Denelle started Special Olympics in 1993. When she is not competing in Special Olympics, she loves to hang out with her two nephews. She has traveled to many places.  Denelle competes in unified bowling, swimming, track/field, and bocce.  When she first started Special Olympics she was very shy and isolated; kept to herself and Special Olympics has helped her break through all of that.  She has competed in the 1999 World Games in NC, the 2001 Green Bay Shopko Golf Classic, the 2006 and 2010 USA Games, and has participated in the 2010 Athlete Leadership Conference in Morocco.  Some of her favorite things are reading, games, cheering on the Chicago Cubs, and hanging out with family and friends.  Going to USA Games means the world to her because she gets to represent South Dakota.
 
Gary Alickson
Unified Partner

 
Joe Burmeister
Unified Partner
Tea Hill
Unified Partner
 
Kaylee Namken
Unified Partner
 
 
Softball Athletes:

Jacob Anderson
Jacob has really enjoyed being part of Special Olympics, especially meeting new people and seeing old friends from different cities.  He participates in basketball, bowling, softball, soccer, and athletics.  Jacob has worked at Hy-Vee pushing carts for 6 years and enjoys bowling in a regular bowling league for the past 5 years.  His high score is a 238.  Some of Jacob's interests are watching the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bulls, St. Louis Cardinals, and Duke Blue Devils play.  He is most looking forward to playing with some of his friends from other cities and getting to meet new people at USA Games.  It means a lot to Jacob to support South Dakota in such an exciting event.  The whole experience has been enjoyable for him.
 
 

Eva Blake
Eva was born in Sturgis, SD, home of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.  Eva is a hard worker and started work as a housekeeper at age 15.  She graduated from Sturgis Brown High School.  At 21, she went to work at a local deli within her hometown grocery store for 9 years.  Eva moved to Spearfish in 2015 and became part of the Northern Hills Training Center where she has wond the Achievement Award every year since joining.  She became involved in Special Olympics with the Spearfish Peaks team in the sports of bowling, volleyball, basketball, and softball.  She has excelled in softball, making her way to the 2018 USA Games.  Eva currently works for Safeway in Spearfish, rents her own apartment that she shares with her dog, Bandit, a Pomeranian Chihuahua mix.  Eva is also the proud owner of her own car and enjoys traveling to see her family or spend time with her friends.  She also enjoys spending her time playing video games and basketball and baseball.  Special Olympics has been a big part of Eva's life because she has been able to meet others with disabilities.  This will be Eva's first time participating at USA Games.  She is looking forward to meeting people from across the nation and feels honored and privileged to be part of the 2018 USA Games.  She believes it will be a life-changing experience.
 
 

Derrick Boegel
Derrick has played sports as long as he can remember, there isn’t a sport he doesn’t like. When Derrick is not playing sports, he takes pride in working 2 jobs. Derrick is a valuable employee at Ellsworth Air Force Base, he is very proud of this. When he is at home, he takes care of his bird and fish, enjoys spending time with his friends, playing board games and having BBQ’S. Derrick participates in softball, track, Basketball, bowling and skiing. Special Olympics keeps Derrick very busy. He lives on his own in a two bedroom apartment, he has a large train set in his bedroom that he is proud of and enjoys. Derrick likes to ride his bike, swim, watch movies and just hang out with friends. Derrick is proud to be a part of his team.

Kyle Duke
Kyle joined Special Olympics South Dakota- Yankton in January of 2000 and immediately learned of his love for sports. When Kyle is not playing sports and busy working at Pizza Ranch, he loves spending time with friends and family. He also loves watching movies and playing video games. Kyle continues to work on improving his skills and is looking forward of being a part of Team South Dakota at the 2018 Games. Kyle loves basketball, soccer, volleyball, track and softball. Special Olympics gives Kyle the opportunity to play new sports that he hadn’t been able to play before. He has learned new skills and also gotten the chance to meet new people and make new friends. Kyle has also won Archery Awards, 2nd and 3rd place in State Competitions and 3rd place in an International Competition. Kyle received an Employee of the Year Award from the National Disability Awareness Group and Employee of the Month twice at Pizza Ranch. In 2010 and 2014, Kyle participated in National Games. Kyle is grateful to have the opportunity to represent South Dakota in the USA Games.
 
Mike Estman
Mike enjoys being able to compete in Special Olympics, it gives him the opportunity to play sports, be with friend and meet new friends. Mike participates in basketball, softball and bowling. Mike feels being a part of Special Olympics has helped him to be a better person. Mike has 60 gold medals he has worked hard for and won over the years. He participated in the 2006 National Games in Iowa, and is excited to represent South Dakota in the USA Games.
 
Josh Gilbert
Josh joined Special Olympics South Dakota in 1998, he has been playing softball since 2001. Josh enjoys the game and when he is not playing, he likes to announce games, and cheer on the Chicago Cubs. Josh is looking forward to “going for the gold”. Josh participates in basketball and softball. When Josh was in 6th grade, a teacher told him about Special Olympics, he says his first tournament “changed his life” Josh also competes in track and field as well as bowling. In his spare time, Josh loves going to movies, attending Rush hockey games, playing video games on his PS4. Josh also likes traveling to Chicago and going to Cubs, Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks games. Josh participated in the 2014 National Games in New Jersey. He is employed through Black Hills Works as part of the maintenance team. Being a part of the Team South Dakota means so much to Josh, he is looking forward to the experience.
Chad Hanten
Chad is 27 years old, he joined Special Olympics in 1989. Chad has enjoyed all of the sports he has participated in. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, boating, bowling and playing golf with his brothers and other family members. Chad participates in softball (plays 1st base) unified bowling, unified basketball, bocce and track and field. Being a part of Special Olympics has helped Chad improve his skills in all of the sports he participates in. Chad feels it has also helped his social skills by learning to play with or against different types of personalities. Chad loves that he has made friendships from all across the state. Chads honors are; MVP for softball in 2012, State MVP for basketball in 1998, he attended the USA Games in softball in 2010 and basketball in 2014. Chads favorite things are doing all of his favorite activities with his brothers, Ryan and Austen, going on family vacations, watching football and hanging out with friends. In 2010 Chad participated in National Games in Nebraska and in 2014, in National Games in New Jersey. Chad works for HyVee Foods. He is very honored and excited to Represent South Dakota in the USA Games, to play sports and meet athletes from other States.
 
Anthony Kelly
Anthony is 17 years old and has been involved with Special Olympics for 6 years. He loves that through Special Olympics, he has been able to meet new people and be a part of a team!! Anthony participates in basketball and softball.  In his spare time, Anthony likes cheering on the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Wild, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Lynx, his School teams and playing catch in the backyard with his neighbors. Anthony has also been involved in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Anthony feels it’s an honor to represent South Dakota in the USA Games and loves the opportunity to meet athletes.
 
Luke Nagel
Luke was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, he had open heart surgery when he was a baby. Luke participates in basketball, swimming, track/field and softball. Luke likes Special Olympics because he meets new people, makes new friends, see’s old friends, and gets to compete. Luke has won The Spirit Sportsmanship Award. When Luke is not competing or practicing for Special Olympics he likes to write, collects baseball cards, and he works at Walmart. Luke has participated in Special Olympics for 20 years. He is honored to represent South Dakota in the USA Games.
Jody Neitzel
Jody was born in Ely, Nevada, she moved to South Dakota in 2000. Jody has four half- brothers and four half-sisters. Jody participates in skiing, basketball, bowling and softball. Jody feels that being a part of Special Olympics has helped her to be more positive and gets along with others better. It has given her an opportunity to compete, something she may not have had otherwise. Jody received a Spirit of Sportsmanship award at 2013 State Softball. Jody participated in the 2014 National Games in New Jersey. In Jody’s spare time, she likes to play video games and enjoys sports and music. Jody says getting to go to USA Games means a lot because she gets to meet new people from all over, and she gets to go somewhere she has never been. Jody also looks forward to trading state pins. Jody has been involved in Special Olympics for 5 years.
 
Noah Pierce
Noah started playing baseball in 4th grade, earning the nickname “Mr. Automatic” for his batting skills. Outside of Special Olympics Noah has participated in Men’s Fastpitch Softball and Church League Softball. Noah has worked for 4 years as a grocery store clerk (at HyVee), and enjoys playing disc golf with his dad, brother and friends. Noah’s Special Olympics sports include basketball, bocce, bowling, softball, soccer and track and field. Because of Special Olympics, Noah has met many new people and feels his athletic skills have improved, making him a better player. Noah has lettered in bowling all 4 years in high school. In Noah’s spare time, he likes to watch movies, play disc golf and watches WWE. Noah participated in National Games in 2014 in New Jersey. Noah attends Augustana University. He is honored to be chosen to represent South Dakota in Special Olympics USA Games.
 
Tim Schellhouse
Tim is 46 years old and has been participating in Special Olympics since he was 8 years old. When Tim is not competing he loves to watch sports and hang out with his girlfriend. Tim competes in softball, bowling, basketball, track, volleyball, and bocce. Tim is grateful for Special Olympics as it allows him to play all of the sports he loves. It’s also given him the opportunity to meet people and make friends. Tim participated in the 2006 National Games in Iowa, and the 2010 National Games in Nebraska. It means the world to Tim to represent South Dakota in the USA Games.
Chris Smith
Chris started Special Olympics in 6th grade, he is now 35 years old.  Being a part of Special Olympics allows Chris the opportunity to participate in sports, meet new friends and meet up with coaches, friends, and others who are a part of Special Olympics. Chris participates in basketball, softball, bowling, bocce, and swimming. Chris was chosen for the All-Tournament Team in softball in 2013. He likes to cheer loud for his fellow athletes, you can always hear him. Chris likes to garden, roller skate and go to moves in his spare time, he also works for HyVee food stores. Chris has been in Special Olympics for 25 years, he has been waiting a very long time for this day, he is very excited to be chosen to participate in the USA Games.
 
Blake Stephens
Blake joined Special Olympics a couple of years ago. He participates in softball, bowling, basketball, track and soccer. Blake likes being a part of Special Olympics because he can participate in more sports, he feels he “fits in” and he can play at his level. He played football and tennis in middle school. Blake was born in Sioux Falls, SD, he is a senior at Watertown High School where he is in Project Skills. When Blake is not participating in Special Olympics, he enjoys fishing, going to moves, playing video games and hanging out with friends and family. Blake is honored to have opportunity to experience USA Games and represent South Dakota.
 
David Tanner
David is originally from Minnesota, where he started participating in Special Olympics. He has lived in South Dakota and played for Special Olympics, SD since 2008. David participates in softball, basketball, soccer, swimming and bocce. Being a part of Special Olympics has helped him be active and stay in shape. He has improved his athletic skills and loves being a part of a team. It has also provided him the opportunities to travel across the state and to USA Games. David has spent many years in the Boy Scouts of America and he has earned his Eagle Scout. David has also been honored with receiving the Black Hills Works Achievement Award and was selected for Team South Dakota for basketball in 2014 for National Games. David enjoys bowling, cooking, camping, hunting and hockey. He is honored to represent South Dakota for the USA Games.
Basketball Athletes:

Garet Alickson
Garet Alickson joined Special Olympics in Belle Fourche, SD when he was 8 years old.  His favorite sports are basketball, softball, skiing and most of all equestrian.  Special Olympics has helped him make many lifelong friends and has broadened his skills in many sports.  It helps keep him active and encourages him to be the best that he can.  When not competing and training, he volunteers at SunCatcher Therapeutic Riding Academy, assisting riders who have disabilities and working with the horses.  He enjoys camping, fishing, playing with his two nieces, and watching the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Twins.  Garet will tell anyone who will listen that the Green Bay Packers are the only real football team.  This is his second USA Games and he is thrilled to represent team South Dakota in basketball.
 
 

Taylor Allen
Taylor joined Special Olympics when he was in the 7th grade.  Special Olympics has given him the opportunity to play sports with his friends, meet new people and travel.  He likes being able to play some sports by himself and others with the team.  He likes that he is able to continue playing even though he is an adult now and no longer in school.  He can keep active with his friends.  He competes in different sports all year long, but my favorite is basketball.  Taylor is a huge Vikings fan and never misses a game on TV.  Recently he had the opportunity to go to his first game in person.  When he is not working at his job at Famous Dave he likes to spend time with friends and his girlfriend.  He is so excited to be attending the 2018 USA Games! 
 
 

Sarah Faue
Sarah was born in New Jersey when her dad was in the Navy. Sarah now lives near her mom who is very supportive of her. Sarah participates in basketball, softball, alpine skiing, and bowling. Sarah has worked at the same day care center for 10 years. Sarah participated in 2010 National Games in Nebraska. She is excited for the opportunity to represent South Dakota in the USA Games.
Aaron Krouse
Aaron has been a part of Special Olympics for many years, his favorite part is meeting new people and competing in games. Aaron participates in basketball, softball and equestrian. Aaron has met people from all over the State who have become life-long friends. Because of Special Olympics, Aaron feels it has helped him to become more confident and outgoing. When Aaron is not busy with Special Olympics, he loves spending time with family and friends, spending time on the farm and watching TV. It gives Aaron great pride that he will be representing South Dakota in the USA Games.
 
Skylar Pagel
Skyler is from Aberdeen South Dakota. He participates in bocce and basketball with Special Olympics. Being involved in Special Olympics has made Skyler feel more confident and allowed him to make lifelong friends. Skyler has lettered in the sports he has participated in, and has received some special awards. In Skyler’s spare time, he likes to watch hockey and he also works at Max & Erma’s in Aberdeen. Skyler is excited to go to USA Games and feels it will be “an experience of a lifetime” to play a sport he loves. Skyler has been involved in Special Olympics for 5 years.
 
Casey Tetzlaff
Casey’s family consists of his mom, dad and four siblings. His family is very supportive of him, it means a lot to him. Casey participates in basketball, powerlifting, bowling, and skiing. Casey loves Special Olympics because he likes sports and being with friends. He loves being around other athletes and Special Olympics helps him to stay healthy and fit. In his spare time, Casey likes working out, lifting weights, hanging out with his family, watching movies, and playing X box. Casey also works at HyVee. Casey has been honored with Student of the month in high school, Employee of the month at work, and winning gold medals in all of the sports he has participated in. Casey says it means a great deal to him to go to such a big event like the USA Games, it makes him happy his family is going to support him, he feels very proud. He has been involved in Special Olympics for 16 years.
Jasmine Tonneson
Jasmine lives in Aberdeen South Dakota and has participated in Special Olympics for 6 years. Jasmine’s sports include bowling, basketball and swimming. Jasmine graduated from Aberdeen Central High School. She enjoys listening to books on tape, making jewelry, playing with his cats, dancing, listening to music and cheering on her teammates. Jasmine is honored to be chosen to represent South Dakota in USA Games.

 
Wade Uhrich
Wade has participated in Special Olympics since the 6th grade, 16 years. Being a Special Olympics athlete is very important to him. Wade participates in basketball, bowling, and powerlifting. Wade has met so many people through Special Olympics and has made so many new friend, he feels the experience has helped him feel more confident. Wade participated in the 2010 National Games in Nebraska, and he is very proud to say he is an Eagle Scout. Wade works at Kesslers, in his spare time he likes watching sports, playing sports, stock car races and being with family and friends. He is proud to represent South Dakota in the USA Games.

 
Jon Underberg
Jon lives in SIoux Falls, SD and has two younger brothers.  He likes to sing, play sports, and hang out with family and friends.  He also helps the football coaches at his high school and enjoys working on cars and has became pretty good at it.   He enjoys fishing, cheering on his favorite football teams and playing games.  Jon participates in basketball, athletics, soccer, bowling, and softball.  Through playing a variety of Special Olympics sports Jon has learned leadership and how to be a good teammate.  Going to USA Games means a lot Jon because he is excited to play with and against some really good players.
Bruce Weeldreyer
Bruce lives in Sioux Falls and went to Roosevelt High School.  He likes watching football and basketball on TV.  Special Olympics has allowed him to meet new people and make new friends.  He won the Spirit of a Champion award.  This means he was voted the South Dakota Athlete of the Year for 2017.  Bruce enjoys playing basketball, bocce, bowling, or softball.  He also likes to collect baseball cards, football cards, hockey cards and basketball cards.  This will be his second USA Games.
 
 
 
 
Interscholastic Unified Basketball Athletes:

Caleb Adermann
Caleb Adermann joined Special Olympics in Huron in 2010 as a 4th grader. He competes in bowling, basketball, track/field and soccer.  When he is not playing, Caleb is cheering on the rest of my teammates.  Caleb also enjoys playing card games, playing on the Wii and Wii2, playing games and listening to music on the computer.  Special Olympics has kept Caleb active and he is excited to attend his first USA Games.
 
 

Nicole Conrad
Nicole is 15 years old; born and raised in Southern California, she moved to Lake Preston, South Dakota in 2014. Nicole made new friends and joined Special Olympics, she enjoys every minute of it. Nicole participates in basketball and Track and Field. Nicole says the coaches and fellow athletes have taken her in and have taught her how to better her basketball skills. Nicole participate in One Act Plays and Oral Interpretation. Nicole enjoys playing with her pets, reading, swimming, listening to music and riding horses. Being a part of Special Olympics gives her a chance to meet new people and make new friends.
 
 

Dylan Motzer
Dylan is his mom’s “Gentle Giant”, he was born and raised in the Clear Lake, South Dakota area. Dylan has always loved the game of basketball and he gives 110% on everything he does. Every free minute he has, you will find him playing basketball with his friends at school or at the park. Dylan participates in bowling, basketball track/field and soccer. I love that I get to play more in everything with Special Olympics. In Dylan’s spare time, he likes to go fishing, driving the truck, and play basketball with friends. In 2015 and 2016 Dylan was given a FFA Salesman award. Dylan is happy he will represent South Dakota in the USA Games.
Cole Pederson
Cole has been in Special Olympics since 2015, but he has been “shooting hoops” since he was three years old. Basketball is his favorite sport, but Cole does love Jordy Nelson and the Green Bay Packers. Cole participates on the school golf team and is the student manager for his high school football team. Cole is excited to play with his good friend, Xander, along with his other teammates on the NESC basketball team. Cole participate in bowling, basketball, track/field and soccer.  Cole loves being a part of Special Olympics as he gets to work with people with disabilities, which is enjoyable to him. He also gets to play sports in college arenas. Cole feels proud he was voted to receive the Special Olympics Sportsmanship Award at the 2017 State Basketball Tournament in the State of South Dakota. In Coles spare time, he likes to golf, swim, listen to music and play the NBA 2K2017 video game. Being chosen to participate in USA Games and represent South Dakota makes Cole feel proud of himself and his teammates.
 
Gavan Schultis
Gavin started in Special Olympics in 2008. He participates in bowling, basketball, track/field and soccer. Special Olympics has given Gavin the opportunity to meet new friends and has learned a lot about rules and sportsmanship. Gavin is very proud he got his driver’s license.  When Gavin is not participating in Special Olympics, he enjoys watching Star Wars, going to movies, Yugioh xbox, fishing, driving and just hanging out. Gavin is 18 years old and is happy to be a part of Special Olympics and having fun.
 
Kellan Benck
Unified Partner
Alayna Benike
Unified Partner
 
Darah DeKam
Unified Partner
 
Xander Sheehan
Unified Partner
Kyler Tvedt
Unified Partner
 
 
 
 
Swimming Athletes:

John McHale
John has been a swimmer since he was 3 years old. He enjoys the water anywhere; in lakes, pools, and boating. He works everyday at the Special Olympics State Office as well as the Orthotics and Prosthetics Office. John enjoys the people he works with. John participate in swimming, unified bowling, and bocce ball. John feels being an athlete for Special Olympics has made him stronger and he has met a lot of people. When John is not training, competing or working, he enjoys building legos, drawing, studying current events and studying history. John likes that Special Olympics provides him with the opportunity to swim fast to earn medals for his state team, and be with friends. John has participated in Special Olympics for 18 years.
 
 

Megan Mills
Megan has been participating in Special Olympics since she was 8 years old.  She has met a lot of friends and enjoyed competing in sports that she wouldn't have had the opportunity to participate in without Special Olympics. She has participated in swimming, basketball, golf, softball, bowling, gymnastics, volleyball and skiing. Swimming is her favorite. She started swimming when she was 3 years old and joined her first swim team at age 7. She was a 4 year varsity letter winner in swimming at Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, WA.  When she is not participating in sports, she love watching football and basketball. She has worked at Planet Fitness for the past 2 years.  She competed in USA Games in New Jersey in 2014 in swimming where she won 2 gold medals and 1 silver medal.  She is looking forward to competing for Gold in Seattle in 2018.
 
 

Kent Mulholland
Kent began competing in Special Olympics in 2003 in El Paso, Texas. In 2005 Kent moved to Sioux Falls, SD. Kent competes in Special Olympics year round. He has represented South Dakota at the 2010 and 2014 USA games in track and field. In 2014, he moved to Spearfish, SD. Kent has made many friends across the state. Kent participates in swimming, track/field, softball, bocce, bowling, alpine skiing and basketball. Special Olympics has provided Kent an avenue to channel his high energy and his need to express himself.  In 2010 Kent was awarded the “Most Improved Runner” at Roosevelt High School Cross Country Team. At the USA Games in 2010 Kent won the Bronze Medal in the 4x100 Relay. In 2014 USA Games he took 5th place in the Penthalon, 2010 Penn Relays Silver medalist in Special Olympics 100 M Dash, Multiple years champion for the Howard Wood Relays for Special Olympics. Kent favorite things about being involved in Special Olympics are traveling, visiting hotels, collecting pens and brochures, watching movies and spending time with family and friends. Kent has had the opportunity to attend National Games in 2010 in Nebraska, and in 2014 National Games in New Jersey. Kent works at Northern Hills Training Center. He looks forward to meeting old friends from all over the country and getting to compete in Special Olympics competition at the highest level. He has been a part of Special Olympics for 15 years.
Addison Whitney
Addison started participating in Special Olympics in 2008. She keeps busy all year with all the Special Olympics sports that are available. She is very competitive but her parents think she is sweet and that makes her a class act. Addison always looks out for others and goes out of her way to make sure other athletes are successful.  She played midddle school basketball and volleyball and participated in a hip-hop dance program for the last three years.  Today she competes in bowling, basketball, swimming, softball, bocce and golf.  Special Olympics has has provided her with opportunities to hang out and play with her peers. It has helped to make her more outgoing and has taught her sportsmanship and helped her keep in shape.  Addison also likes music, hiking and watching movies.  Going to USA Games means that her hard work has let her improve and represent South Dakota at the USA Games. It makes her proud.
 
 
 
 
 

World Games



2015 Summer World Games Athletes
Ashley Clark, Bowling
John McHale, Swimming
Robert Catherman, Athletics








2017 Winter World Games

Justin Elliot, Alpine Skiing

Justin Elliot will be representing South Dakota and Special Olympics USA in Austria.
Every two years, Special Olympics holds its flagship event, the World Games, demonstrating sports excellence, which promotes equality, respect and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities around the world. Transcending the boundaries of geography, nationality, political philosophy, gender, age, culture and religion, the world will come together to celebrate inclusion around the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Graz, Schladming-Rohrmoos and Ramsau, Austria on March 14th -  March 25th, 2017. More than 2,600 athletes and 1,000 coaches representing 106 countries, along with 10,000 volunteers and thousands more spectators, will participate in and watch exciting sports and community events.

This is the second time Austria has hosted the World Winter Games, having also staged the event in 1993. Sports featured are Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Figure Skating, Speed Skating, Floor Hockey, Floorball, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing, and Stick Shooting.

Thank you to our Sponsors and Partners