Special Olympics Delaware Announces Delegation for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games
NEWARK (DE) VIA DESODE: Special Olympics Delaware is proud to announce that it will send a 44-member delegation to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, being held June 5 – 12, 2022, in Orlando, Florida.
Team Delaware is comprised of 29 athletes, nine coaches, four staff members and two students from Caesar Rodney High School who will attend as part of the Unified Champion Schools Youth Leadership Experience. The delegation will compete in seven of the 19 Olympic-type sports offered: basketball, bocce, bowling, powerlifting, swimming, tennis and track & field.
Meet the members of Team Delaware who will take part in the USA Games, which includes Bank of America as a Platinum Partner.
Head of Delegation: Kylie Frazer, SODE Director of Sports (Bear)
Asst. Head of Delegation: Cheryl Talmo, SODE Director of Sports Training and Health (Newark)
Team Fitness Coordinator: Rob Bailey, SODE Sussex Area Director (Millsboro)
Basketball: Jesse Benson (Dover), Malik Bradford (Wilmington), Eric Bruce (Wilmington), Jayquan Butcher (Dover), Timothy Jones (Wilmington), Jeffrey Marconi (Hockessin), David McElrath (Wilmington), Anthony Thomas (Wilmington), Elerece Thomas (Dover), Jerome Watson (Seaford); Head Coach Kevin Koerner (Townsend), Assistant Coach Ed Capodanno (Wilmington), Assistant Coach Scott Tamblyn (Newark).
Bocce: Nicole Baker (Newark), Rory DiLouie (Lewes), Charles Permint (Milford), Kimberly Strunk (Milford); Head Coach Pamela Cannon (Harrington).
Bowling: Allen Burke (Millsboro), Matthew Montgomery (Wilmington), Michele Ogden (Bear), Devin Wineland (Milton); Head Coach Rose Dagg (Newark).
Powerlifting: Sterling Johnson (Newark); Head Coach Terry Lemper (Townsend).
Swimming: Christine Arancio (Ocean View), Austin Archer (Wilmington), Kristen Hanifee (Millsboro), Brian Perry (Frederica); Head Coach Diana Behrens (Newark).
Tennis: Katya Bowers (Millville), Carl Williams (Newark); Head Coach Jill Wallace (Wilmington).
Track & Field: Jillian Mathews (Felton), Deshawn Scye (Laurel), Christi Theron (Wilmington), Steven Turner (Newark); Head Coach Kylie Lavelle (Wilmington).
Youth Leadership Experience: Ammar McNair (Camden-Wyoming), Alex Failing (Dover); Nate Threatts, mentor, SODE Manager of Unified Champion Schools (Dover).
The Special Olympics USA Games, which is hosted every four years, will mark the largest humanitarian event in Florida’s history. The event will unite more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean. Over 10,000 volunteers will fill more than 20,000 volunteer shifts during the week. It is anticipated over 125,000 families, friends and spectators will witness the inspiring athletic accomplishments in 19 Olympic-style team and individual sports and more than 30 events at world-class venues across Orlando, centered at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World Resort.
Athletes were selected for Team Delaware based on their performances at the most recent state-level competitions. Athletes winning gold medals in the sport for which they applied were then randomly selected with the exception of basketball, which held an open tryout. Coaches were selected through an application process.
“Attending a USA Games is a great achievement for any Special Olympics athlete,” said Ann Grunert, executive director of Special Olympics Delaware. “It is a reflection on their commitment to their sport and their willingness to put the necessary work in during the months leading up to the Games while preparing to perform on what will be the biggest stage of their athletic careers. We are proud of all of them, and very fortunate to have a committed coaching staff who we are confident will not only prepare them to compete at the world-class athletic facilities but will ensure they take advantage of all the other experiences that will be offered during the Games.”