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Tommie Copper Named Premier Partner!

Tommie Copper Launches “From Copper to Gold” with the Formation of a New Partnership with Special Olympics

Mount Kisco, NY – November 20, 2013 — Tommie Copper, the originator of copper-infused compression and performance apparel, is excited to announce a new partnership with Special Olympics. Special Olympics gives children and adults with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to experience the power and joy of sport, through athletic training and competition, all while creating a more inclusive world for everyone. Tommie Copper has pledged to donate $1 for every transaction placed* December 1st through the 31st in order to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics athletes, including members of Special Olympics Team USA on their journey to the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, in Los Angeles, California

For 45 years, Special Olympics has unleashed the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports.  Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics currently encompasses more than 4.2 million athletes in 170 countries, and provides competition in 32 Olympic-type sports throughout the year. Through its ongoing work in sports, health education and community building, Special Olympics is addressing inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society.

Tommie Copper’s Founder, Tom Kallish states his excitement, “It is the greatest of honor to be a sponsor of Special Olympics Team USA.  I have a profound understanding of everyone having a purpose and being included having grown up with a brother with special needs. Our relationship with Special Olympics embodies one of the greatest mottos of all: ‘Think Good, Do Good, Feel Good.’”

“Every athlete dreams of becoming the best they can be in their sport and representing their country on the world stage – Special Olympics athletes are no different, and with the support of Tommie Copper and its consumers, our U.S. athletes will have the chance to show the world what they’re capable of,” said Special Olympics Team USA Head of Delegation Chris Hahn.

Tommie Copper is the next evolution in performance apparel. Go to www.tommiecopper.com to find out more information.

*Orders placed in Alabama, Illinois and Massachusetts are excluded from this promotion.

ABOUT TOMMIE COPPER: Tommie Copper is the next evolution in performance apparel. All Tommie Copper products are copper-infused and available in a Compression Fit for relief from aches and pains and a looser ActiveFit for everyday wear. The CompressionFit line includes multiple colored sleeves, shirts, shorts, tights and gloves for all the pain points of the body. The ActiveFit line includes shirts for men and women available online and in the Tommie Copper retail store in Mount Kisco, NY. Go to www.tommiecopper.com for more information.

ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS TEAM USA: More than 500 athletes, coaches and official delegates comprise Special Olympics Team USA and will represent the United States of America at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, CA, July 25 – August 2, 2015.

Special Olympics Team USA athletes will compete in 16 Olympic-type sports, including aquatics, athletics (track & field), basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, equestrian, golf, gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic), kayaking, powerlifting, sailing, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball.  Special Olympics Team USA is sponsored by Premier Partner Tommie Copper.

Follow Special Olympics Team USA online at www.specialolympicsteamusa.org; Facebook: www.facebook.com/SOTeamUSA; Twitter: @SOTeamUSA

Republic of Korea Hall Family Reunion

Part I

The Team’s Host Town activities included a visit to the United States Forces in Korea Yongsan base in Seoul. The visit was extra special for one Special Olympics Team USA athlete, whose brother is stationed at the base. View the amazing story of their reunion between Tonya Hall and her brother, half a world away from where they last shared a hug.

Part II

The bond between a brother and his special sibling was cause for celebration and cheers. Specialist Tyler Farris has the story of Tonya’s special fan base, based in Korea, that cheered on her and her teammates!

Going the Distance in Snowshoes

We caught up with snowshoeing athlete Alex Guild last night at the Unified Sports experience and discussed his upcoming races. Alex is the only Special Olympics Team USA member competing in the one mile and 5k race. Running this distance in snowshoes is an amazing accomplishment.  Alex’s speed makes it more remarkable.

Alex will break seven minutes in the one mile race and hopes to run the 5k in 30 minutes. For those of you not familiar with snowshoe racing, athletes  run with large ‘rackets‘ attached to their feet. While they are designed to create float in snow to prevent them from sinking in deep snow, running in them is a very high aerobic activity. Alex is no stranger to running as he has completed four half marathons with a personal best of 1:45:00. While in his home statem of Wisconsin, he works with a running coach and attributes much of his speed and endurance to this relationship. He has his sights set on a marathon in the future and we have no doubt that he will be successful.

US team holds rally ahead of Special Olympics Winter Games in Korea

Courtesy of Stars and Stripes

SEOUL – Chants of “U.S.A., U.S.A.” filled the Collier Community Fitness Center here Monday as a crowd of about 250 American servicemembers and their families staged a rally for the U.S. team on the eve of the Special Olympics World Winter Games.

A fired-up Gen. James Thurman, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, told the 152-member team, “We’re mighty proud of you.

“You are already true champions,” he said. “Whether you earn a medal or not, it is more important to know you have done your very best.

“To be selected to represent the United States of America is an incredible honor and a tremendous accomplishment,” Thurman said, before leading the athletes in a call-and-response of the Army hooah cheer.

Approximately 3,200 athletes with intellectual disabilities from about 110 countries are expected to participate in the games, which start Tuesday in PyeongChang with the opening ceremonies and run through Feb. 5.

The athletes will participate in seven sports, including alpine skiing, figure skating and snowboarding, plus floor ball, a demonstration sport.

In a speech to those in attendance at Monday’s rally, Special Olympian Bryan Terry promised, “We will compete to the best of our ability.”

In doing so, he said the servicemembers and athletes have something in common.

“You fight for freedom,” he said. “Special Olympians fight for freedom too – Freedom from discrimination” against people with intellectual disabilities.

After the speeches, servicemembers and their families mingled with the athletes, praising their efforts and wishing them well in the competition.

Figure skater Kelly Bradshaw said, “It was a different experience just to see all the different soldiers from everywhere, all over the country.”

That was one of the goals of Monday’s get-together, according to Christopher Hahn, head of the Team USA delegation.

“One of the things we try to do … is have a variety of opportunities and experiences, and this is a different type of experience,” he said. “It’s fellow Americans on another country’s soil.

“I think they both had a good time,” Hahn said. “There was some good interaction.”

The first Special Olympic World Games were held in 1968, and are now held every two years, alternating between summer and winter sports.

In conjunction with the games, a number of forums and other events are planned focusing on issued faced by the intellectually disabled around the world. One celebrity guest at Monday’s even was former NBA player Sam Perkins, a member of the board of directors for Special Olympics Inc.

rabiroffj@pstripes.osd.mil

Meet “The Legend” from New Hampshire

The Laconia Daily Sun

Written by: Adam Drapcho

LACONIA — Some say it’s better to be lucky than to be good. Mark Lagueux has the benefit of both attributes, though, and he needed them both to be selected to represent New Hampshire and the United States at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games, to be held January 29 through February 5 in the mountainous South Korean city of Pyeongchang.

Lagueux, 18 years old and a 12th grader at Laconia High School, will compete in the sport of alpine skiing. He earned the opportunity to represent his country by winning a gold medal in a Special Olympics competition held earlier this year at Waterville Valley. Through a lottery system, New Hampshire Special Olympics selects two of its athletes, drawing from among all those who won a gold medal, to participate in the World Winter Games. In this way — by being both excellent and fortunate — Lagueux was picked as a member of the U.S. Special Olympics team. He’ll be joined by New Hampshire’s other athlete, Laura Lemieux of Berlin, who will also compete in the alpine skiing events. Other events at the games will include cross-country skiing, figure skating, speed skating and snowboarding.

It was about three months ago that Lagueux heard that he was South Korea-bound. “It felt awesome,” he recalled. The feeling hasn’t worn out, either. “Amazing, this is part of my lifetime right now.”

When he was a year and a half old, Lagueux was involved in an automotive accident. He suffered brain damage from the event, which today results in developmental disabilities and a palsied right hand. It hasn’t dimmed his smile or friendliness, though, nor his eagerness to try new things and meet new people.

At LHS, Lagueux has joined the integrated soccer and basketball sports teams. He was also a member of the Winnipesaukee Warriors, a Special Olympics team focused on summer events. Through that team, he was encouraged two years ago to join the Gunstock Special Olympics Team, where he found a team of volunteer coaches to help develop his skills and talents.
There, on the slopes of Gunstock, Lagueux earned the nickname “The Legend.”

In his view, his downill prowess is built on his ability to control his speed — dialing in as much velocity as he could handle without losing control. When racing, he said, he asks himself, “Do I need more speed or not? I use my speed to keep me in the game.”
Darrin Hardy, one of his volunteer coaches, recalled that Lagueux had to be coaxed to go faster when he was a novice skier. Now, though, “The Legend” Legueux is compelled by the desire to see how fast he can go without  leaving his skis. “It is a challenge,” he said about skiing, adding that he isn’t discouraged by his tumbles. “If I get up, I can try again.”

Whether it’s his mother, teammates or coaches, Lagueux has had the good fortune of supportive people around him. Now, about to embark on a great adventure, he has more support than ever. Last week, Piche’s Ski and Sports donated an assortment of equipment to the effort, including skis, poles, helmet and clothing, totalling about $1,600. Pat Bolduc, one of the store’s co-owners, said the donation was an “easy decision, glad to do it. He’s a great kid, he’s worked hard. This is a real big deal to do what he has in two years.”

To help pay for incidental expenses during his trip to the World Winter Games, his friends and family will be hosting a fund raising dinner and dance. Held on Saturday, Nov. 17, at the VFW Post on Court Street in Laconia, the event will feature a live band and catering by Kitchen Cravings. Attendants will be asked to donate $10 at the door.

Next month, Lagueux and other members of the Special Olympics Team USA will travel to Lake Placid, N.Y. for a training camp. Then, in January, he and the rest of the team will head to Pyeongchang, where more than 3,300 athletes from around the world will celebrate the spirit of competition and sportsmanship.

“Whatever I have — gold, silver, bronze medals — I will still have fun and support the teams when I get back,” Lagueux said, adding that he hopes to “enjoy life, have a good time and meet new friends in South Korea.”

Tomahawk teacher selected to coach Special Olympics at World Winter Games

Written by:
Wassau Daily Herald

TOMAHAWK, WI — In her 25-year career as a teacher and Special Olympics coach, Bonnie Kahn has been no stranger to international sporting competitions.

Kahn, 56, has been selected to coach cross-country ski athletes at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games, taking place from Jan. 29 to Feb. 5 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It will be her fifth appearance as a Team USA coach.

“It’s exhausting but exhilarating at the same time,” she said. “It’s a passion of mine that’s near and dear to my heart.”

Kahn was named the Special Olympics Wisconsin coach of the year in 2001 and has served as a Team Wisconsin coach at the National Games in Iowa in 2006 and a Team USA cross-country ski coach at the World Winter Games in Alaska in 2001, in Japan in 2005 and in Idaho in 2006. She also was a track and field coach at the 2011 World Summer Games in Greece.

Three athletes from Wisconsin, Illinois and Delaware have been assigned to Kahn. Though thousands of miles separate the four, they’ve already started training exercises on dry land, Kahn said. The four will be together for the first time in December for a training camp at Lake Placid, N.Y.

The distance is a challenge, Kahn said, but keeping communication open with the athletes and their parents and coaches helps to keep everyone on course.

Special Olympics Missouri Athlete Prepares for World Winter Games

By: William Seay

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Mystie Lucast is diagnosed with an intellectual disability, scoliosis, ADHD, and a number of other disabilities.

She’s also a gold-medal winning figure skater from here in St. Joseph (Missouri).

Mystie is a Special Olympics athlete, and she’s taking her talents to the 2013 World Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“It’s not necessarily the medals.  The medals to me don’t matter.  It’s just showing that I love what I do,” Mystie says, with a winning smile that never leaves her face.

She talks about her medals with an attitude that is superseded by the overwhelming passion she has for her sport.

Still, she took gold at a competition in St. Joseph earlier this year; it’s the competition that qualified her for the World Games.

“Mystie is a sweet girl.  She’s very enthusiastic, with just about anything she does.  As far as an athlete, she’s very talented.  She has a lot of ability that we’ve been able to tap into,” said Debbie Cole, one of Mystie’s skating instructors at the Bode Ice Arena in St. Joseph.

Cole is helping the thirteen-year-old skater tap into that natural ability, but the drive to keep going and keep getting better all comes from Mystie herself.

“No matter what I give it everything I have,” she says, still smiling.  “For me, it’s seems that if you keep practicing over and over, it gets stuck in your mind and it won’t get out.”

When asked how Mystie will do in Korea, Cole said, “She has a very good chance.  She has to go out there and show them what she can do.”

She’ll have that chance in January.

Until then, Mystie will continue to practice – three days a week.

She and her family also need to raise $5,000 to get her to the games.

The Special Olympics organization in Northwest Missouri is helping her and her family with several fundraisers.

 
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