-- The delegates representing Team Kansas at the 2014 USA Special Olympics Games have returned home after a week of competition, events, and pin trading. The delegation consisted of 22 athletes, 7 coaches, 2 Youth Summit Representatives, 1 LETR runner and 3 SOKS staff. The games were in Princeton NJ.
The delegation returned with 12 gold, 15 silver, 3 bronze, three 4th, six 5th, six 6th, four 7th
The soccer team played a tough final game for their silver, surviving double overtime and sudden death overtime to beat Southern California 2-1.
In Track and Field, Sarah Utech suffered a severe knee injury during prelims. However, she was not to be denied. In shot put she pushed through and won gold! In her long jump, she could only hop on one foot and placed 6th. She was the anchor leg of the 4x100M relay, and the team could not substitute. Each team member ran their leg knowing Sarah could only walk, but that was okay, because they were in it together. Sarah, with a knee brace on was forced to walk her leg of the race, but that was preferable to her rather than force the team to withdraw. They placed 7th
Over 3500 athletes from all 50 states, 1000 coaches, 10,000 volunteers and 70,000 spectators & families participated. Additionally, 100 Youth Summit (2 per state) attended. The Youth Summit focused on inclusive youth leadership, communication, Unified Sports, and whole school engagement
All delegates enjoyed a dinner cruise around New York seeing the Statue of Liberty, attended a Trenton Thunder baseball game, and received autographs from WWE. Wichita area delegates participated in the Cessna Airlift. The airlift on June 14 to games and June 21 (home) featured owners Cessna Citations transporting 800 athletes and coaches from across the country with an arrival or department every 3 minutes at Mercer County Airport.
?Medalists include: Chevi Peters and Josh Weigel, Powerlifting; Trevor Hallman, Eric Kling & Ashley Ploutz, Aquatics; Morgan Diaz, Chris Leon, Cody Pierce, Sarah Utech, Athletics; Harley Rich, Berto Lopez, Bowling; Courtney Davis, Patrick Ensign, Brent Fisher, Anthony Irving, Robert Irving, Ron Jones, Scotty Pfeifer and Billy Wilson, Soccer. Complete roster of those attending: www.ksso.org/usagames
The next USA Games will be held in 2018.