Archive for category special olympics

14th Annual Special Olympics Bocce Ball Bash

BLOOMSBURG — It was a Bocce Ball Bash at Bloomsburg University on Saturday. Volunteers tell Newswatch 16 more than 300 athletes with the Special Olympics descended on Columbia County. It started in 2004 with just 16 teams, and it has grown to 175 teams from more than 20 counties. One volunteer shared why he comes back year after year. “We really enjoy seeing the kids down here and working as they are. And the smiles on their faces are worth […]

Colorful Race Benefits Special Olympics

SCRANTON — The rain didn’t stop people from getting a little colorful in Scranton. The Color Me Rad 5k kicked off Saturday morning at Courthouse Square. By the end of the race, the runners are coated in all the colors of the rainbow. “All the excitement, all the people having fun, it was fun. It made the run a lot easier,” said Edwin Concepcion of Blakeslee. “It was my first and won’t be the last.” A portion of the proceeds […]

Sports Bash Hits Wilkes University

A group in Wilkes-Barre is warming up for a sports bash for a special cause. Zebra Communications, the student-run public relations firm at Wilkes University, is hosting a sport filled event to benefit the Special Olympics Athletes of Luzerne County. Newswatch 16’s Ryan Leckey visited the school Friday to learn more about how the weekend event will play out. It includes plenty of activities including kickball, basketball, and a dance party co-sponsored by Wilkes University’s Dance Team. QUICK FACTS: WHEN: Sunday, […]

Brain Power Meets Brawn

Testing your toughness with a side of trivia.  That’s the mix making up an event in the Poconos later this week.  The third annual “Carbon Adventure Race” will take place this Saturday afternoon at Skirmish USA near Albrightsville.  The event benefits the Special Olympics of Carbon County.  Newswatch 16’s Ryan Leckey got a sneak peek […]

Special Olympics Competition Held at North Pocono Middle School

MOSCOW — After a rain-out last week, a Special Olympics competition was held Monday in Lackawanna County. Several hundred students with special needs competed in sprinting, jumping, and throwing events at North Pocono Middle School in Moscow. Nathan Buchinski of Mid Valley won his wheelchair race by a nose! “First year he was in it. […]

Special Olympian Honored in Home Community

SELINSGROVE — It was a hero’s welcome home for a woman in Snyder County Tuesday night, who captured two medals in the Special Olympics World Summer Games last week. Amanda Swazey of Selinsgrove won both the gold and silver medals in the equestrian competition in Los Angeles. “Amanda Swazey, who is the proud winner of […]

Silver Medal Winners at Special Olympics World Games

Two men from our area are bringing home some hardware from the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. Bobby Robbins is from Gibson in Susquehanna County and Jeff Snyder is from Scranton in Lackawanna County. Together they won a silver medal for their golf game. Robbins and Snyder have been golfing together for the […]

Silver Medal Winners at Special Olympics World Games

Two men from our area are bringing home some hardware from the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. Bobby Robbins is from Gibson in Susquehanna County and Jeff Snyder is from Scranton in Lackawanna County. Together they won a silver medal for their golf game. Robbins and Snyder have been golfing together for the […]

2 Bethlehem athletes to compete at Special Olympics World Games

Amanda Reiss and Simone Williams will represent Bethlehem at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.

Two athletes will be representing Bethlehem later this month on the world stage.

Amanda Reiss and Simone Williams will be competing in the Special Olympic World Games, hosted this year in Los Angeles.

The athletes will make the journey Monday, with a pit stop in Philadelphia for a welcome reception.

Both women will be competing in the gymnastics portion of the games, with Reiss in rhythmic style and Williams performing artistic.

Rhythmic style consists of using different objects at different levels to complete a routine. Reiss will use a ball, hoop, rope and ribbon for her individual routines.

Williams’ artistic routine will consist of vaulting, the balance beam and a floor exercise.

Both Reiss, 28, and Williams, 34, will be participating in the opening ceremonies on July 25 where they will walk alongside the other seven Pennsylvania delegates that will represent the United States.

Traveling with the Bethlehem athletes will be their coach Casey Skoglund, along with Reiss’ mother, Rose Ann, and Williams’ mother, Antonia, older brother and nephew.

Skoglund has been preparing Williams and Reiss for the games with practices two days a week since last November.

They use the training facility at Parkettes National Gymnastics Training Center in Allentown which Skoglund says has been very accommodating.

She says they normally practice one day a week but with the difficult competition expected at the World Games she wanted to make sure her athletes came prepared.

“It has been a lot of work but they (Reiss and Williams) are always willing to try new things,” Skoglund says.

Skoglund, of Tatamy, has been coaching with the Special Olympics for years and says it gives her a chance to help.

Even with the Olympics only about a week away, the athletes did not seem nervous about competing or being away from home.

“I’ve been on a plane before so I’m not even scared,” Reiss proudly stated.

You could tell by their focus during practice that both Reiss and Williams are ready to compete in front of the judges.

Even when Reiss got ahead of the music in her hoop routine, she never got frustrated with herself and continued without hesitation.

You could see the determination in the eyes of Simone Williams as she counted out beats to herself during her floor exercise.

Both Olympians have been involved with Special Olympics for years but this will be their first time competing in the World Games.

Reiss’ competition will run from July 26-28 and Williams’ from July 30-Aug. 1, both at the John Wooden Center on the campus of UCLA.

The Special Olympic World Games will take place from July 25-Aug. 2 at various locations around Los Angeles.

For more information about the games, visit la2015.org.

Rebecca Bullis may be reached at rbullis@lehighvalleylive.com or 610-553-3382.

Special Olympics Held in Jim Thorpe

JIM THORPE — A community named for an Olympic athlete hosted some other Olympians Saturday. Jim Thorpe High School stadium was the site of the Carbon County Special Olympics track and field day. Children and adults with intellectual disabilities took part in all kinds of different athletic competitions throughout the day. One of the coaches […]