December 20, 2014
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Cranston athletes representing at Special Olympics USA Games
Brian Byrnes

Special Olympics Rhode Island will be sent 61 athletes and 15 coaches to the 2014 Special Olympic USA Games in New Jersey on Saturday..

The event is expected to be the biggest Special Olympic Games yet.

“It’s a very exciting time for Special Olympics Rhode Island,” said Special Olympics Rhode Island Chief Executive Officer Dennis DeJesus. “There has been a tremendous amount of preparation for everyone involved, including the coaches, the staff and the athletes who have waited since the winter for these events. Obviously it’s a very exciting time for Special Olympics in Rhode Island.”

The 2014 Special Olympic USA Games will host 3,500 players, 1,000 coaches, 10,000 volunteers and an estimated 70,000 family friends and spectators. Special Olympics Rhode Island (SORI) has athletes competing from all over the state, including Cranston’s Steven Brunner and Johnathon Johnson in baseball and Chris Lussier in golf. Cranston’s Nancy Furtado is coaching unified bocce.

SORI has provided free training for almost 3,000 kids and adults with intellectual disabilities, offering competitions in team and individual sports. The organization stands on the concept of acceptance and inclusion, and looks forward to seeing its athletes fight through adversity and showcase their athletic skills. SORI prides itself on enhancing the fitness, self-esteem and life skills of its members to help them thrive and contribute to society.

There will be 16 different athletic competitions at the 2014 Special Olympic USA Games, including the sports mentioned above along with aquatics, basketball, bowling, cycling, gymnastics, flag football, power lifting, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball and a triathlon. The games will continue throughout the week, ending on Saturday, June 21.


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