Selection Finalizes Team Kentucky for 2022 Games in Orlando
A University of Louisville-based Unified Collegiate basketball team has been selected to represent the state as part of Team Kentucky at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games next June in Orlando, Fla. The team combines traditional Special Olympics athletes with teammates who do not have an intellectual disability to train and compete together. It is the first Unified team that Special Olympics Kentucky has ever sent to a USA Games. Six athletes, four Unified partners and two coaches will make the trip to the Games.
Athletes competing as part of the team include Nick Coslow, Hunter Kasse, Tim Kornrumpf, Trent Martinez, Garrett Nason and Cory Pitsenberger, all of Louisville. The Unified partners are Michelle Goderwis of Newport, Eric Piernas Jr. of Rineyville, Kevin Sullivan of Louisville and Olivia Whitehead of Newport. All are undergraduate or graduate students at U of L. The team will be coached by Katherine Halbleib and Justin Peterson, both of whom are member of the U of L campus recreation and intramural sports staff.
Team Kentucky will compete against teams from colleges in Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, North Carolina and Texas at the USA Games.
The University of Louisville was the first university in the state to implement the Special Olympics Unified College program and basketball was the first opportunity that was offered. They have added both bocce and human foosball. U of L teams have competed in two NIRSA Unified Collegiate National Basketball Tournaments.
Special Olympics Kentucky will send 31 athletes, eight Unified partners and 17 coaches to the Games. They will compete in eight sports – artistic gymnastics, bocce, bowling, flag football, golf, swimming, track and field and Unified Collegiate basketball. The total cost of sending Team Kentucky to the 2022 USA Games is expected to approach $100,000. For information about how you can help sponsor the team or to donate, contact Trish Mazzoni at 502-695-8222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Team Kentucky or about the USA Games, contact Special Olympics Kentucky Director of Communications and External Relations Mark Buerger at 502-695-8222 or email@example.com.
The 2022 USA Games are the fifth such games in Special Olympics history. Past USA Games were held in 2006 in Ames, Iowa; 2010 in Lincoln, Neb.; in 2014 in New Jersey; and in 2018 in Seattle, Wash.
The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, scheduled for June 5-12, 2022, in Orlando, Florida, will unite more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean during one of the country’s most cherished sporting events–the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. The USA Games will offer 19 Olympic-style team and individual sports, including athletics (track & field), basketball, bocce, bowling, cheerleading, equestrian, flag football, golf, gymnastics, open water swimming, powerlifting, soccer, softball, stand up paddleboard, surfing, swimming, tennis, triathlon and volleyball.