World Games Just Weeks Away

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World Games Just Weeks Away

Kentucky Special Olympics USA Delegates Depart June 10

Dennis Gaines and Wake Mullins receive their silver medals at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. Mullins is waving to the crowd.
Dennis Gaines and Wake Mullins won the silver medal in the 18-Hole Alternate Shot competition at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.

After more than a year of waiting (and practicing), the two Kentucky athletes, one Unified partner and two coaches who will participate in the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games as part of the Special Olympics USA team are just over a week away from leaving for Germany! Gymnast Lee Dockins, golfer Wake Mullins and Unified partner Dennis Gaines and gymnastics coach Mary Fehrenbach will depart in the morning on Saturday, June 10, and swimming coach Debbie Ogden will depart the same day from Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. They will meet the rest of the Special Olympics USA contingent in New York for team activities there before leaving for Germany on June 11.

The USA team  will first go to Bremen for three days for their Host Town experience, before heading to Berlin on June 16 to be ready for the Opening Ceremonies on June 17.

Mullins and Gaines will be the first Kentuckians in action at the Games with their first divisioning round of the 18-Hole Alternate Shot competition teeing off on Monday, June 19. They will play again each of the next three days looking for a gold medal. Lee Dockins will have to wait until Tuesday, June 20, for her rhythmic gymnastics competition to begin. Her preliminary round will begin at 6:30 am (ET)/5:30 am (CT). She will return the next day for finals which will be held at 3 am (ET)/2 am (CT).

Gymnast Lee Dockins kneels and smiles with her right hand in the air after finishing her clubs routine at the 2019 World Games.
Lee Dockins will be looking for her first World Games gold medal in rhythmic gymnastics after winning three silvers and two bronze at the 2019 Games in Abu Dhabi.

This is the first World Games experience for Mullins and Gaines, who won a bronze medal and a silver medal in the same 18-Hole Alternate Shot event at the 2018 and 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, respectively. This is the sixth World Games trip for Dockins, who has won eight artistic gymnastics gold medals. This will be her second time competing in rhythmic gymnastics. She won three silver medals and two bronze medals, including bronze in the all-around in rhythmic gymnastics at the 2019 World Games in Abu Dhabi.

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At least one Kentuckian will be in Germany when our athletes arrive. Kentucky State Trooper Sgt. Barrett Brewer will head to Germany early to represent Kentucky in the 2023 World Games Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg, helping escort the Special Olympics Flame of Hope around the country before guiding it to Berlin for the Opening Ceremonies.

The 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games mark the return of the Games to Europe for the first time since the 2011 World Summer Games in Athens. The Games are expected to bring together more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries to compete. This will be the fifth time that the World Summer Games have been held outside the United States. The others were in 2003 in Dublin, Ireland; 2007 in Shanghai, China; 2011 and 2019 in Abu Dhabi. The 2015 Games were held in Los Angeles.

For more information about the athletes and coaches named to the Special Olympics USA Team for the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games or about how you can help support their trip, contact Special Olympics Kentucky President and CEO Trish Mazzoni at 502-695-8222 or via e-mail at [email protected].

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