Local Athletes Selected to Represent Missouri at 2010 Special Olympics National Games in Nebraska

Local Athletes Selected to Represent Missouri at 2010 Special Olympics National Games in Nebraska

(Edina/Kirksville)  The Special Olympics USA National Games will be held July 18-23, 2010. In the heart of the competition in Lincoln, Neb., will be Missouri’s own delegation of more than 160 athletes and coaches. Team Missouri athletes will compete individually in aquatics, athletics, bocce, bowling, golf, powerlifting and tennis, and the delegation will also include five teams in basketball, flag football, softball and volleyball.
Team Missouri will travel to Lincoln to make some MO Magic, along with 51 other delegations from the United States.  More than 3,000 athletes are expected to compete at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the surrounding communities.  More than 1,000 coaches are expected and an estimated 8,000 volunteers will be needed.
The Northeast Missouri delegates to Team Missouri include Adam Marino, Jennifer Creason and Jared Niemeyer.  Adam and Jared are members of the Athletics, or track and field, team.
Adam Marino has participated in Special Olympics for several years; beginning while a student at Knox County High School. Adam is a Knox County High School graduate; currently employed in and resides in the Kirksville community.  Adam will participate in the 100 meter walk, the 100 meter run, the soft ball throw and the standing long jump. Adam enjoys competing in Special Olympics basketball, bowling, soccer and track and field.  He is honored to represent Team Missouri in the 2010 National Games and is training to do his best!
Jennifer Creason is a graduate of Kirksville High School and has participated in Special Olympics for several years.  She is a member of the Team Missouri bowling participants.  Jennifer reports that her favorite Special Olympic memory is walking in the Parade of Athletes at the Opening Ceremony of the 2007 State Basketball Championships.  
Jared Niemeyer, from Edina, will compete in the 400 meter run, 4×400 meter relay, 4×100 meter relay, running long jump and shotput.  Jared has been enjoying Special Olympics for approximately ten years. He competes in soccer, basketball, bowling, track and field. Jared is an active member of the junior class at Kirksville High School. He serves as manager to the High School football and baseball teams. He’s also actively involved in the Liberty Leaders 4-H Club, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Youth Group, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Jared reports that one of his favorite Special Olympic moments is when members of the Kirksville Tiger Baseball Team came to the 2009 Spring Games at Truman to cheer on the Special Olympic athletes.
For Special Olympics athletes, participation in a national event like this means greater self-confidence, a more positive self-image, an enormous amount of pride and the opportunity to create lifelong friendships and memories.  Standing on the awards stand to receive a medal alongside athletes from all across the nation is truly a moment that they have only dreamed of.
The cost to send Team Missouri to Special Olympics National Games is approximately $165,000. This will cover training, transportation, uniforms, meals, equipment, housing and other costs associated with competition.  We are seeking businesses, organizations and individuals who want to “Feel the MO Magic” and support this group of world-class athletes and coaches. Each delegate is trying to raise at least $1,000. Consider assisting Jared Niemeyer, Adam Marino and Jennifer Creason’s fundraising efforts by visiting www.somo.org/athletename, where you can make a donation online through Special Olympics Missouri’s secure system.
For additional information regarding Team Missouri to 2010 Special Olympics National Games, contact Tim Schuster, Northeast Region Area Director or visit the Special Olympics website, www.somo.org/teammissouri.

Special Olympics Missouri is a year-round program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with mental disabilities. More than 15,000 athletes participate in 21 Olympic-type sports throughout the state.  Special Olympics provides people with mental disabilities continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with their fellow athletes, their family and friends, and communities across Missouri.