Frankfort. – In just less than three weeks, four Carter County residents will be on their way to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Fla., as part of Team Kentucky. Levi Oney will be part of the Team Kentucky bowling delegation. Athlete Jack Brammel, Unified partner Titus McGlone and mentor Jamie Tiller will all take part in the Youth Leadership Experience held in conjunction with the Games.
Oney, 22, has been a Special Olympics athlete for six years, competing in bowling for that entire time. He has also competed in soccer and track and field. Oney is making his first ever USA Games trip. He works at Rural King in Ashland. At the Games, Oney will compete in singles as well as teaming up with other Team Kentucky bowlers to compete in the pairs and team events.
This will be the second consecutive USA Games that has had an Olive Hill representative in the Team Kentucky bowling delegation. Joseph Jarrell competed at the 2018 Games in Seattle, Wash., bringing home a gold medal in the pairs competition with Daniel Williams of Glasgow. He also placed fourth in the individual event and the team event.
Brammell, 18, is a Grayson resident and a junior at East Carter. He has been a part of Unified activities for 3 years. At East Carter he participates in Unified Club, Unified P.E. and Unified track & field. Brammell also previously participated in SOKY soccer for a year. He has traveled all over the world including to Disney with his family and is very excited to be going back.
Jack and his family are working to find him a job in the near future and skills gained during this Youth Leadership Experience will hopefully help him prepare.
McGlone, 17, is also a junior and has been a part of Unified activities for 5 years, having started when he was in middle school. He participates in Unified Club and Unified P.E. Due to his friendly demeanor and ability to treat everyone equally, Titus is very popular with students with special needs and regularly engages in Special Education classes as a Peer Mentor.
Tiller has worked at East Carter for six years and started working with Unified programming three years earlier while at East Middle School. She is a science teacher and the chair person for her department. Tiller serves as East Carter’s main liaison to the Unified Champion Schools program. Along with her student leaders, she has helped organize several Youth Leadership Summits in her region to help spread the message of inclusion and inspire other schools to start Unified programs. Jaime has coached Unified Track for her school team and in 2018 she led East Carter to Unified Champion Schools National Banner status, a major achievement that only 3 schools in the entire state have attained.
The Youth Leadership Experience is intended to help develop students and mentors who are better prepared to lead and expand Unified Champion Schools programming in their school when they return home.
Team Kentucky will gather before the USA Games on Friday, June 3, at the Courtyard by Marriott on Phillips Lane in Louisville, where the team will stay before departing for the airport at 7 am the next morning. Their flight will leave Louisville at 9:05.
Team Kentucky will return to Louisville on Sunday, June 12. They will be scheduled to land at 11:50 am.
Special Olympics Kentucky will send 37 athletes, seven Unified partners and 14 coaches to the Games. They will compete in eight sports – artistic gymnastics, bocce, bowling, flag football, golf, swimming, track and field and Unified basketball. In addition, a three-person team including an athlete, a Unified partner and an advisor will travel with Team Kentucky to participate in the Youth Leadership Experience at the Games.
For more information about Team Kentucky or about the USA Games, contact Special Olympics Kentucky Director of Communications and External Relations Mark Buerger at 502-695-8222 or email@example.com.
The 2022 USA Games are the fifth such games in Special Olympics history. Past USA Games were held in 2006 in Ames, Iowa; 2010 in Lincoln, Neb.; in 2014 in New Jersey; and in 2018 in Seattle, Wash.
Kentucky has had tremendous success at the USA National Games. The 2018 team included 45 athletes and set records for the state by capturing 50 medals, with 19 Golds. In 2014 Team Kentucky’s 38 athletes won 36 medals, including 18 Golds. The 2010 Team Kentucky group consisted of 39 athletes and claimed 34 medals, including 10 Golds. The 2006 USA Games team saw 42 athletes capture 42 medals, including 18 Golds.
The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, scheduled for June 5-12, 2022, in Orlando, Florida, will unite more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean. The USA Games will offer 19 Olympic-style team and individual sports, including athletics (track & field), basketball, bocce, bowling, cheerleading, equestrian, flag football, golf, gymnastics, open water swimming, powerlifting, soccer, softball, stand up paddleboard, surfing, swimming, tennis, triathlon and volleyball.
Special Olympics is the world’s largest program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Participation in competitive events is open to all individuals eight years of age or older. Training and competition in local, area, state, and national programs is offered year-round in Kentucky in 15 sports. In addition to its traditional sports competitions, Special Olympics also offers early childhood programming through the Young Athletes Program and medical screenings though the Healthy Athletes Initiative. Special Olympics Kentucky began as a one-day event in Louisville in 1970 and has expanded to serve more than 11,300 athletes statewide annually. Special Olympics celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the global movement in 2018.