Special Olympics Kentucky is proud to announce the team that will represent the State as Team Kentucky at the 2010 Special Olympics USA Games. The team includes 40 athletes, one unified partner and 16 coaches. Kentucky athletes will be competing in seven sports at the Games — Aquatics (swimming), Athletics (Track and Field), Basketball, Bowling, Golf, Rhythmic Gymnastics and Softball.
Team Kentucky athletes hail from throughout the state and the team comprises a solid mix of athletes with experience at this level as well as athletes who have never been to competition above a state-level event. Returning athletes include Track and Field athlete Matt Minning of Taylor Mill who earned the first ever Gold Medal in Special Olympics USA Games history when he won his Division of the 10,000-meter run at the 2006 Special Olympics USA Games in Ames, Iowa. Also, the women’s basketball team that will compete as Team Kentucky at the 2010 Games is essentially the same group that won the Gold Medal playing as Team USA at the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, China. On the other side of the ledger is the Louisville-based softball team from Pitt Academy that will compete as part of Team Kentucky that will have almost all newcomers to National or World Games-level competition.
The 2010 Special Olympics USA Games will be only the second USA Games the organization has ever held. They are expected to bring together more than 3,000 athletes from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The first Special Olympics USA Games were held in July 2006 in Ames, Iowa. Kentucky athletes claimed 42 medals at those Games, including 19 Gold Medals. Matt Minning of Taylor Mill, Ky., was presented the first Gold Medal in Special Olympics USA Games history after winning his division of the 10,000-meter run on the first day of competition at the 2006 Games.
“I am excited about having the opportunity to once again send a team to represent this state at the Special Olympics USA Games,” said Special Olympics Kentucky Executive Vice President Trish Mazzoni. “This is always a great experience for both our athletes and our coaches. I know we have a team that will compete well and represent Kentucky well in all of our events. I know they are all ready to get going right away.”
The cost of sending the 58-person Team Kentucky contingent to the USA Games is expected to exceed $60,000 to include the cost of uniforms, training, transportation, housing, equipment and meals. You can help with that effort by making a donation to the Team Kentucky effort.
For more information about Special Olympics Kentucky’s participation in the USA Games or for information about financial support for USA Games athletes, contact Trish Mazzoni, Special Olympics Kentucky President and CEO at 800-633-7403 or via e-mail at [email protected].