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:
TikTok ????? (stay tuned!)

#TeamPA | #ShineAsOne | #InclusionRevolution

SOPA finishes 2nd in NIRSA Unified Rocket League Tournament

Last week, SOPA Unified, an eSports team representing Special Olympics Pennsylvania competed in the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Unified Rocket League Championship tournament! The team, consisting of four Special Olympics Pennsylvania athletes and one coach from the Greater Lehigh Valley Pocono Region, faced Utah Gamurs in the final and fell just short of winning the whole thing, claiming a silver medal in the 4-2 best-of-seven series loss.

Since October, 2021, SOPA Unified has played Rocket League — a video game that combines soccer and car racing — every Wednesday night. The team members, Dylan Smith, Brandon Batres, Richard Klingensmith and Juvantie Ortiz, as well as coach Cody Dalton, have different experience levels playing Rocket League, but focused on building team chemistry and encouraging one another all season en route to making the finals in their inaugural campaign.

Everyone on the team, aka The Demo Squad, loves eSports and the weekly competition and bonding sessions have brought everyone close together.

If you’d like to watch a replay of the finals against Special Olympics Utah, please click here.

Meet the Team
Dylan Smith (Team Berks): Has been playing Rocket League for less than a year, enjoys working out and making scarves.

Brandon Batres (Team Lehigh): Has been playing Rocket League for less than a year, enjoys traveling and playing soccer.

Richard Klingensmith (Team Lehigh): Has been playing Rocket league for three years, enjoys playing video games and sports.

Juvantie Ortiz (Team Lehigh): Has been playing Rocket League for one year, enjoys hockey and hanging out with friends.


Sheetz & Wawa team up to support PA Polar Pop!

Two of Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s biggest supporters — Sheetz and Wawa — have joined forces to help support the 2021 Polar Pop!

In a joyous and unexpected crossover, the two convenience store chains filmed a video to help promote the Pop and each CEO challenged the other to take the Polar Pop! To register for the Pop, visit http://www.papolarpop.org. Check out more from Sheetz and Wawa below:

The news made quite a splash in, well, the news as well as outlets across the state picked up the story. Here are the available links to check out:

ABC 27: http://bit.ly/3ttJXxx
6 ABC: https://6abc.cm/36HUIlZ
Times Herald: http://bit.ly/3tsTLYA
Philadelphia Inquirer: http://bit.ly/2YH5i8o
Daily Local: http://bit.ly/39Pl5si
Penn Live: http://bit.ly/3cHrGXh
Your Erie: http://bit.ly/3cHrYxl

Virtual Dream Ride 2020

Has it been a DREAM of yours to attend the Dream Ride?! Well now you can! Join us this weekend as we celebrate three days of inclusion at the 2020 Virtual Dream Ride! Here’s the viewing schedule and links:

Dream Ride (session 1): Friday (5 pm – 10 pm) ➡️ https://youtu.be/ulex35xawZQ

Dream Ride (session 2): Saturday (2 pm – 10 pm) ➡️ https://youtu.be/0htaTQB2E9Y

Dream Ride (session 3): Sunday (10 am – 2 pm) ➡️ https://youtu.be/lGwZnBSPY-g

#DreamRide | #InclusionRevolution