2022 USA Games: Team Pennsylvania Reactions

We’ve got the PERFECT way to start your Monday morning. Seriously.

A while back, we asked everyone to film their friends & family members watching our 2022 Special Olympics USA Games Selection Show in order to capture their reactions in the event they were picked to compete.

Well, now that the Games are two weeks away and Team Pennsylvania is all set to crush it in Orlando, we’re honored to share this video with you. Our athletes and volunteers train so diligently throughout the year and seeing how much this opportunity means to our Special Olympics Pennsylvania family truly brings us as much joy as is expressed in these clips.

Special shoutout Special Olympics Global Ambassador Joe Haden for helping us surprise several athletes — who thought they were attending a boring meeting — via Zoom!

YOUR HOME for everything Team PA at the 2022 USA Games!

Team Pennsylvania is ready for the Special Olympics 2022 USA Games in Orlando, Florida!!

In just two weeks — from June 5-12 — 164 athletes, coaches and staff from Pennsylvania will travel to Orlando to compete at the 5th USA Games! The USA Games occur once every four years and unite more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean. More than 125,000 spectators are expected to bring tons of energy to the eight-day event.

Athletes representing Pennsylvania will compete across 14 different sports (Athletics, Unified Track & Field, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Equestrian, Flag Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Powerlifting, Swimming, Tennis, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball). If you’re not able to be with us in Orlando, you’ll want to follow us on social media and keep it glued to our website for all the latest updates from the Games. In addition, be sure to tune in to ESPN, which will be providing coverage of the Games all week!

Special Olympics Pennsylvania athletes train hard for the opportunity to compete at a nationwide event and we absolutely can not wait to showcase the amazing members of Team PA and all they’re going to accomplish in Florida!

To stay locked in on all the action, just follow these links:
YouTube
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter
Flickr
Website
TikTok ????? (stay tuned!)

#TeamPA | #ShineAsOne | #InclusionRevolution

2022 Bocce at the Ballpark!

On May 11th, C.C.A. Baldi Middle School, Louis Farrell Elementary and Bache-Martin School participated in the 2022 Unified Bocce at the Ballpark with the Philadelphia Phillies!

Unified sports pairs people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team! The Phillies’ front office staff came out to participate in the event, along with former Phillies Mickey Morandini and Milt Thompson and announcer Scott Graham! We can’t thank the Phillies enough for all of their support and energy and for cultivating such an inclusive atmosphere at Citizens Bank Park!

All photos courtesy of the Phillies.

To view the full photo album, follow this link: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzQVAN
To watch a video recap of the event, follow this link: https://youtu.be/SZRRi7LLhSw

#UnifiedGeneration

Mental Health Action Day

On May 20, we are proud to join forces with MTV and hundreds of global brands, cultural leaders and other nonprofit organizations for the first ever Mental Health Action Day. Our goal is to help athletes make emotional well-being a priority.

There are many tools available to assist you or your loved ones in promoting well-being, reducing stress and improving coping skills and resilience, including our Strong Minds resources. Emotional well-being is just as important as physical health. Check out these tips to help manage stress:

Support Special Olympics athletes in Ukraine

Dear Special Olympics Pennsylvania Family:

Everyone is well aware of the horrific situation unfolding in Ukraine. Pennsylvania has the 2nd largest Ukrainian American community in the United States. I’m sure many of you have wondered how, or even if, you can help. There is now a way you can support Special Olympics athletes in need!

I have been working with the Managing Director for Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia exploring ways we can assist. SOPA is going to form a partnership with the Krasnobrod Center in southern Poland that has been helping refugees with intellectual disabilities fleeing Ukraine. This center is just across the border from the Ukrainian city of Lviv.

Before the pandemic and the war, SO Ukraine had 13,885 athletes. Special Olympics PA has committed to providing $13,885 ($1 for every athlete) to support SO Poland and this center. We are asking the entire SOPA family to join us in “matching” this support by donating whatever you can here: https://bit.ly/3uQc6QC

By working together, we hope to generate up to $27,770 – enough funding to support this center for the next year.

The SOPA family has always been generous and has always stepped up to help other SO Programs in need. You did it when a tornado hit Joplin, Missouri. You did it when an earthquake hit Haiti. And, you did it when Hurricane Sandy devastated SO New York. Now, I’m asking you to do it again to help meet the urgent, acute, and growing needs created by this refugee crisis.

In coming weeks, we will explore additional ways to engage and connect our SOPA athletes and volunteers with the athletes and families at the Krasnobrod Center. For now, financial assistance is the most meaningful way we can help.

Thank you for your generosity,

Matthew B. Aaron

President & CEO, Special Olympics Pennsylvania