The Voices of SOPA

During Special Olympics Pennsylvania‘s inaugural Indoor Winter Games in 2019, we took some time to sit down and talk to athletes throughout the event. Even though the 2020 Indoor Winter Games in York were cancelled, we wanted to share these interviews with you now. Below, you’ll find a collection of audio stories, which you can listen to by clicking, as well as portraits of these awesome athletes and their biographical information.

The Faces & Voices of Indoor Winter Games

Name: Kristine Progin
County: Lebanon
Sport: Floor Hockey Coach
Age: 44

“My dad had coached for years… I think that’s why I wanted to coach, because he and my mom had both coached before.”

Kristine Progin, Lebanon County

Name: Donte Vargas
County: Bedford
Sport: Floor Hockey
Age: 22

“We practice spin moves, getting the puck toward the net and we practice passing as well.”

Donte Vargas, Bedford County

Name: Hillary McFadden
County: Area M
Sport: Speed Skating
Age: 36

“When I was 17, I asked if I could do speed skating and they said, ‘no, you can’t do that [because you’re blind]’ and I said, ‘well sure I can. I can do anything I set my mind to.’ So we fought for it.”

Hillary McFadden, Area M

Name: Corey Zentner
County: York
Sport: Figure Skating
Age: 39

“I like my teammates. I try to help them to focus and not mess up. Try to help them do their best.”

Corey Zentner, York County

Name: Chloe Phillips
County: Lancaster
Sport: Swimming
Age: 21

“My goal is to embrace myself to do more, bigger events for public speaking.”

Chloe Phillips, Lancaster County

Name: Russell Green
County: York
Sport: Figure Skating
Age: 41

“[Coach Lin] takes the time in her efforts and she does whatever she needs to do with us… We like being here on Monday nights skating.”

Russell Green, York County

Name: Brandon Daehn & Elizabeth Brown
County: Area M
Sport: Speed Skating
Age: 29 & 22

“I do speed skating, tennis and long-distance walking and running. Summer is the only time I have free time.”

Elizabeth Brown, Area M

Name: Leah Cunningham
County: York
Sport: Figure Skating
Age: 15

“I do hockey and figure skating. I like it, it’s fun and it’s great.”

Leah Cunningham, York County

Name: Gabriel Stern
County: Lebanon
Sport: Floor Hockey
Age: 17

“It really means something to me that I can finally be supported in a place that I can actually call family for once.”

Gabriel Stern, Lebanon County

2020 Virtual Summer Games media coverage

Among the many incredible things that happened throughout the 2020 Virtual Summer Games, we were fortunate enough to receive some fantastic coverage from media throughout the state! Check out all the links below!

Fox 43:聽Special Olympics Athletes Compete Virtually

CBS 3:聽Virtual Pennsylvania Special Olympics Summer Games

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:聽Special Olympics PA summer games offers even more chances at competition

KYW 1060:聽Special Olympics Pennsylvania to hold virtual events this weekend

Tribune Democrat:聽Special Olympics Summer Games event goes virtual

The Sentinel:聽Special Olympics Pennsylvania to hold Summer Games event over Facebook, YouTube

WJAC:聽PA Special Olympics hosting virtual summer games this weekend

KDKA:聽Special Olympics Pennsylvania to host Virtual Summer Games

Daily Collegian:聽Special Olympics of Pennsylvania to host virtual summer games, increases athlete engagement

Announcing the 2020 Virtual Summer Games

We are SO EXCITED to announce the 2020 Virtual Summer Games! This event will offer the opportunity for all of us to come together, capture the spirit of our athletes and volunteers, and share a unique experience even though we can’t physically be in Happy Valley!

Virtual Summer Games is open to EVERY registered athlete and is a safe way for everyone to compete against their friends and peers from across the state. After our athletes have trained and competed from home, we will all come together virtually to celebrate through a series of virtual events taking place on Facebook, YouTube, Zoom, and our website from June, 12 鈥 14, 2020.

For all the details, please visit our official Virtual Summer Games website:


饾煭) 饾棖饾棝饾棦饾棦饾棪饾棙 饾棳饾棦饾棬饾棩 饾棖饾棝饾棓饾棢饾棢饾棙饾棥饾棜饾棙饾棪 鉃★笍
Check out all of the offered challenges and train at home. There are challenges in each of the eight Summer Games sports that we typically offer: Athletics, Basketball, Equestrian, Golf, Gymnastics, Softball, Swimming & Tennis!

饾煯) 饾棫饾棩饾棓饾棞饾棥 饾棛饾棦饾棩 饾棳饾棦饾棬饾棩 饾棖饾棝饾棓饾棢饾棢饾棙饾棥饾棜饾棙饾棪 鉃★笍
You can train and submit your scores for up to three (3) events. Keep track of your scores as you go. You have until Sunday, May 31, 2020 to train and submit your results.

饾煰) 饾棪饾棬饾棔饾棤饾棞饾棫 饾棳饾棦饾棬饾棩 饾棩饾棙饾棪饾棬饾棢饾棫饾棪 鉃★笍
Train for all of your events first and keep track of your scores as you go. Fill out the form above you are done training and submit your best event scores. You can also submit a video of yourself practicing or a recording of an encouraging message to share [VIDEO SUBMISSION LINK 鉃★笍]! All qualifying scores are due by Sunday, May 31, 2020.

Be sure to share all of your training and progress with us using the hashtags #VirtualSummerGames and #WeAreSOPA!

For even more details, check out this comprehensive webinar which will answer all your questions!

Join us for the LIVE Virtual Beaver Stadium Run!

饾棝饾棽饾椆饾椆饾椉 饾棶饾椈饾棻 饾槃饾棽饾椆饾棸饾椉饾椇饾棽 饾榿饾椉 饾榿饾椀饾棽 饾煭饾煭饾榿饾椀 饾棓饾椈饾椈饾槀饾棶饾椆 饾棧饾棶饾榿饾棽饾椏饾椈饾椉 饾棛饾棶饾椇饾椂饾椆饾槅 饾棔饾棽饾棶饾槂饾棽饾椏 饾棪饾榿饾棶饾棻饾椂饾槀饾椇 饾棩饾槀饾椈, 饾椊饾椏饾棽饾榾饾棽饾椈饾榿饾棽饾棻 饾棷饾槅 Sheetz! 馃馃挋馃

While we’re so sad we can’t all be together in Happy Valley on this BEAUTIFUL Sunday, we’re excited that we have the ability to gather virtually and celebrate the things that make this event so meaningful to so many people. We’re overjoyed by the number of virtual participants we’ve seen register so far. Words can’t express how much your support means to the nearly 20,000 Special Olympics athletes throughout the state.

We now invite you to grab some brunch, find a comfortable spot on the couch and join us as we present this year’s VIRTUAL Beaver Stadium Run! And remember… WE ARE — Stronger Together!!

#VirtualBSR | #InclusionRevolution