Inaugural Special Olympics Virtual College Championship Week kicks off!

For the first time ever, colleges and universities across the United States are competing in the Special Olympics Virtual College Championship Week presented by ESPN!

Here in Pennsylvania, we have SEVEN schools participating: DeSales, Thomas Jefferson University, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, Saint Francis University, Villanova, and Wilkes University! The teams will compete across a series of 15 challenges that require team members to connect with each other and spread a message of inclusion through social media.

These are Unified teams, meaning people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities will be competing and working toward a common goal together. This awesome event provides an opportunity for these teammates to connect and compete together, building friendships along the way! #SOCollegeChampWeek

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

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: https://specialolympicspa.org/virtual-summer-games

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS!

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 bit.ly/2020VSGSports
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 bit.ly/2020VSGResults
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 bit.ly/2020VSGVideos]! 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! bit.ly/2WP0qN1

Special Olympics Pennsylvania: March Madness 2020 Champions

Ladies & gentlemen, we are proud to introduce your 2020 SOPA MARCH MADNESS CHAMPION…

饾悞饾悘饾悗饾悜饾悡饾悞 饾悅饾悁饾悓饾悘!!!! 馃弳馃檶馃弲

Cinderella is dancing!! The No. 7 seed has done it and shocked the field!! Not only did Sports Camp take down top-seeded Summer Games in the Final Four but then defeated No. 1 Fall Festival in yesterday’s championship. An incredible total of 1,084 people voted and the final tally was 762-322 in favor of our champs!

We can’t thank everyone enough for their support of ALL our amazing Special Olympics programs throughout the state. The was an incredible tournament and we hope you had as much fun voting as we did watching the results flow in!
Be sure to stay tuned for more awesome stuff coming your way as we all continue to stay active and stay together as one big Special Olympics Pennsylvania family!