Raleigh, N.C. — Three athletes from Mecklenburg and Wake counties have been selected to represent the United States at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, according to Keith L. Fishburne, Special Olympics North Carolina president/CEO. As part of Special Olympics Team USA, these athletes will join 3,300 athletes from 112 countries around the world competing in eight Olympic-type sports: Alpine skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Snowboarding, Snow Shoeing, Short Track Speed Skating, Figure Skating, Floor Hockey and Floor Ball demonstration. The Special Olympics World Winter Games are scheduled for Jan. 26- Feb. 6, 2013.
Zach Butler of Wake County (Raleigh)
Katie Carter of Mecklenburg County (Charlotte)
Rory Kinane of Mecklenburg County (Charlotte)
North Carolina will also be represented at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games by the following: Catherine “Tappie” Dellinger of Indian Trail, figure skating coach for Special Olympics Team USA, Jake Harkey of Concord, Alpine skiing coach for Special Olympics Team USA, Captain Thurman Whisnant of the Hickory Police Department- Global Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg torch runner, Andrea Stamm of Cary – Ice Skating sports manager; Dr. Tim Taft of Chapel Hill – medical staff for Special Olympics Team USA.
No Special Olympics athlete is ever charged a fee to participate at any level of Special Olympics competition so it is the responsibility of the volunteers and staff to raise the funds needed. In the case of the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games, Special Olympics North Carolina must raise $5,000 per athlete for their involvement. Online fundraising web pages have been created for each athlete in order to help raise funds.
“The three athletes who make up Special Olympics Team USA-NC are about to embark on a very memorable experience,” said Fishburne. “Their performances will open eyes and change attitudes. We know they will make our state and country proud.”
The Special Olympics World Games, held every two years and alternating between Summer and Winter Games, are much more than just a sporting event. In addition to showcasing the skills and achievements of Special Olympics athletes, the 2013 World Games will embody the movement’s messages of acceptance and inclusion. These Games will bring together heads of state, celebrities and leaders in the fields of education, healthcare, business and sports to witness firsthand Special Olympics’ ability to transform communities and the lives of more than 200 million people worldwide with intellectual disabilities.
Among the highlights of the 2013 World Games are: a Global Law Enforcement Torch Run, culminating in the Flame of Hope lighting the Special Olympics cauldron; a Host Town Program in which delegations will spend days prior to the Opening Ceremony living in South Korean communities; a Global Development Summit focused on Ending the Cycle of Poverty and Exclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities; a Global Youth Summit where young people with and without intellectual disabilities will share ideas for involving youth in the Special Olympics movement; and Special Olympics Healthy Athletes®, through which athletes receive free health assessments and services.
Special Olympics North Carolina offers year-round sports training and competition for more than 38,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. These athletes inspire greatness through their success and provide motivation to the thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide. SONC offers Olympic-type competition in 19 sports on local and state levels. Visit Special Olympics North Carolina at www.specialolympicsnc.com. Engage with us on http://twitter.com/sonc_beafan; http://www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsNC and http://www.youtube.com/BeAFanSONC.