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

Next Stop for S.O. Team USA: L.A. in 2015

Los Angeles, California will host the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, July 24 – August 2. This will be the next time Special Olympics Team USA will assemble: athletes from throughout the United States will compete in 21 summer sports and 3 exhibition sports.

7,000 Special Olympics athletes from 170 nations
170 Countries
30,000 Volunteers
3,000 Coaches
500,000 Spectators

In a city full of celebrities, Special Olympics Athletes will be the real stars!

Learn more about the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games

2013 World Winter Games Complete

The 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games are complete.  The entire Team is home safely, carrying their new medals, ribbons and smiles.  It was an amazing experience and the United States should be extremely proud of their Special Olympics USA delegation.  Below you will find a list of important links from the Games.

Special Olympics Interactive Videos, Photos, Quotes and More

Official Photo Gallery

Official Results

The next Special Olympics World Summer Games are coming to Los Angeles, California. The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games will feature world-class competitions in aquatics, gymnastics, track and field, basketball, football (soccer) and other many other summer sports.

Closing Ceremony

The Closing Ceremony for the Special Olympics 2013 World Winter Games took place on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at the PyeongChang Dome.

Emphasizing the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games official theme ‘Together We Can’ the World Games, Special Olympics Chairman and CEO, Dr. Timothy Shriver proclaimed “Together we DID!” and urged the crowd to continue the momentum of these Games “Here we come L.A., here we come world, watch out, together we can. Congratulations athletes!”

At the Closing Ceremony of the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea, Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver delivered an inspired poem he wrote about the heart of the Games experience.  Here is the text of the poem as delivered on February 5, 2013:

Centuries ago, a mystic wrote, “if the only prayer you ever say your entire life is ‘Thank you’ that will be enough.”

Today, our prayer is thank you.


Thank you for the volunteers who pushed the chairs with wheels
The MATP medals that made us know how winning feels

Thanks for all those docs for feet and eyes and ears
And for the teeth they cleaned so we can smile from all our ears to ears

Thanks for cheers and hockey pucks when they hit the back of the net
For officials who kept the rough and tumble safe so parents wouldn’t fret

Thanks for smiles that sneak out from the corners of shy eyes
Thanks even for the times they stopped our hearts and made us cry

Thanks for skates so sharp and music in our figures
Thanks for all the ways that dancing on the ice made us feel bigger

Thanks for skis and gates and boards that fly down magic mountains
For Young leaders dancing Gangnam style and for swimming in winter fountains

Thanks for Banda, Kyi, and Lee who came without a fuss
Thanks for when they told us that the athletes should lead us

Thanks for little athletes who learned to jump and shoot a ball
Thanks for every family member, first fans, cheering for us all

Thanks for Gareth Cowin who broke our hearts in tears of sadness
You’ll never leave us Gareth, your spirit will forever surround us

Thanks for global messengers of peace, sport and of acceptance
We’ll follow you wherever you go – all the way to the world’s end

Thank you even for the struggles and bones that broke and simplicity and weakness.
We know that they’re all a part of harmony that more is sometimes less

Thank you to the source of snow and ice, the color blue
Our joy is from our common heart in the love that sparkles true

Thanks for all Korea and the powerful chairman Na
The Revolution she will lead will take us to the stars

We thank you God, Allah, Adonai, and consciousness
We believe in gentle dignity because your spirit is in us.

Thank you to the volunteers who made us feel the magic Ah
2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games, the best games yet, hurrah, bravo, kamsahamnida!!

Now, onward leaders of the dignity revolution!  When God closes one door, God opens another.  The games now close, but they have opened us to our power, our joy,  bravery.

Let us imagine the world we want to live in and build it now.  The revolution has begun anew.  Watch out LA, watch out world cause here we come!


February 4th Update

Hello from PyeongChang!
Six days of competition are now complete with only one remaining.  We are heading full speed into Closing Ceremonies, however our athletes are still raking in the medals and ribbons.  This has been a remarkable experience for everyone involved.  The hospitality, fair competition, cultural experience and venues have all been first class.   We’ve seen the statement that the world games are “the most inspiring global sports and humanitarian event on Earth” and we could not agree more.  At the awards, there are tons of people cheering, taking photos and videos and throwing high fives to each other.  This enthusiasm demonstrated at the awards has permeated all aspects of this experience for our athletes and volunteers.
Now for the fun stuff.  You can click on any link below and that will take you to that sport’s photo folder.  We have many more images to upload, but this will give you a good taste of the action.  We hope you enjoy.

Alpine Skiing
Floor Hockey (Unified)
Floor Hockey
Cross Country Skiing
Speed Skating
Figure Skating

Friday, February 1st Update

Good morning fans. We’re battling a bit of rain here in PyeongChang today.  To that point, alpine skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing have been canceled for the day.  All indoor sports and snowshoeing will still be competiting.

Health Role Model Lisa Salim

Lisa Salim is a goalie for the Special Olympics Team USA floor hockey team from Southern California.  Lisa is incredibly easy to talk to because of her kind and gentle demeanor, but don’t let that fool you.  She has a deep drive to succeed in all aspects of her personal and athletic endeavors including her health and well-being. When she is guarding the net, she is determined not to let a puck get past her.  We saw her make numerous saves in the the her three games today against United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Trinidad and Tobago.

Lisa is part of a team who has lost more than 400 pounds to get ready for the World Winter Games. For her part, Lisa has lost more than 70 pounds and six pant sizes. Like the rest of her team, Lisa worked with a trainer each day to get in better shape and learn about nutrition. She credits her new self to exercise, proper nutrition and eliminating soda. When speaking with Lisa you can just see the boost in confidence as she talks about all of her accomplishments.

AFT Named Official Sponsor

Special Olympics Team USA proudly announces the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) as the newest Official Sponsor of the 2013 team!

AFT is not new to Special Olympics Team USA however: their support includes the last four Special Olympics World Games, beginning with the 2007 Summer Games in Ireland, the 2009 Winter Games in Idaho, the 2011 Summer Games in Greece, and now these Winter Games in Korea. AFT also hosted the Volunteer Recognition Party of the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games in Nebraska.

For these Games, AFT is serving as the Presenting Sponsor of the team’s send-off and homecoming celebrations, which will be held in Los Angles, California.

“The continued support of AFT speaks to the commitment educators and AFT have to ensure that all student-athletes have the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Chris Hahn, Head of Delegation for Special Olympics Team USA. Hahn added “The lessons learned through sport help our athletes gain the self-confidence and skills necessary to be productive and accepted members of their schools, families and communities, and AFT understands the important role Special Olympics plays in the development of students.”

The financial support of Special Olympics Team USA’s official sponsors helps pay for such critical items as travel, lodging, meals, uniforms, equipment, training and much more, as Special Olympics never charges the athlete or their families a fee for the athlete’s participation.

About AFT:

The American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, was founded in 1916 and today represents 1.5 million members in more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide.
Five divisions within the AFT represent the broad spectrum of the AFT’s membership: pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; and nurses and other healthcare professionals. In addition, the AFT represents approximately 80,000 early childhood educators and nearly 250,000 retiree members.

Many well-known Americans have been AFT members, including John Dewey, Albert Einstein, Hubert Humphrey, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, former Senate Majority Leader and Ambassador to Japan Mike Mansfield, former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, and former United Nations Under-Secretary and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph Bunche.

Travis Hunter Is Ready to Compete

By Will Seymour

CHESTERFIELD, Va. – Travis Hunter’s attraction to speed skating is right there in the name.
“I like to go fast,” the 23-year-old said.

Hunter will have the chance to showcase his speed on a big stage at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games, set for Jan. 29-Feb. 5 in South Korea.

The opportunity to compete at one of Special Olympics’ biggest events is a reward for hard work and dedication, but also another step in his continuing personal development, an area where sports plays a central role.

Hunter, who was diagnosed with autism at age 2, was a quiet kid when he landed in Marjorie Loya’s middle-school classroom.

“If you led conversations, (he’d go along,)” Loya said. “He was developing his personality.”

After being introduced to Special Olympics through Loya and the school system, the playing fields of several sports became a laboratory for growth. In addition to his time on the ice, Hunter plays softball and basketball and competes in roller skating.

He’s also comfortable out on the water; a favorite activity is water skiing behind the family boat. Other pastimes include camping and watching television, in particular shows about history.

If Hunter wasn’t all that expressive in social situations, it wasn’t the case in competition. As with many young athletes, he struggled to accept reverses as well as victories.

“He had to learn how to lose gracefully,” Loya said.

With the experiences gained over a decade of competition, Hunter is now a Special Olympics veteran. Loya said Hunter serves as a role model to younger athletes, both in his performances on the ice and by helping other adjust and cope with the practicalities of competition such as travel or just spending time away from home.

He broke a bone roller skating just before a state Games a few years ago. Despite being unable to compete, Hunter didn’t take the opportunity to take the weekend off. Instead, he made the trip to support his teammates.

That desire to help out is a family trait. The Hunters are a fixture in the local Special Olympics community; Loya, 29-year volunteer with Special Olympics, calls them “as supportive a family as I’ve seen.”

Hunter skates often with friends; his association with a high school alumni team that competes in skating, basketball and softball provides an opportunity to keep in touch with schoolmates after graduation. He graduated from Matoaca High in Chesterfield in 2011.

A lot of these children have grown up together and care about each other,” his mother, Diane said.

That care, and the camaraderie of sport, creates a space where Travis can be himself.

“When he’s playing you can see the true Travis enjoy and engage,” Diane said.

That engagement now happens in other venues as well. Travis has spoken at Special Olympics functions and fundraisers, a long way from the child who preferred to remain silent.

“He’s funny now,” Loya said. “I learned that after I saw him and his dad tease each other for an hour and a half at a meeting.”

For all the laughs he has with family and friends, speed skating is still serious business.

Hunter was selected for Team USA through a lottery open to gold-medal winners from the Virginia state Games. Hunter is intent on arriving in South Korea a better skater than ever.

“He’s been working and working and working since his name was drawn,” Loya said. “He’s the most prepared athlete I’ve sent to a major competition.”

Hunter and the rest of Team USA got another boost at a team training camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. Dec. 10-14. There, the athletes met each other and the coaching staff for the first time.

Hunter may have benefitted from the week more than most. In Lake Placid, he received instruction from dedicated speed skating coaches, a resource he doesn’t have access to at home.

“Everything they taught him, he’ll keep,” Loya said.

Beyond the specialized coaching, there’s another reason to think Hunter will post some quick times at the Winter Games.
In South Korea, the competition will be spread out over a week rather than the one or two days that is the norm for Hunter’s local and regional competitions. Even though his events at the Winter Games will be at longer distances than Hunter is accustomed to, up to 777 meters, the more-relaxed schedule should allow he and the other athletes to put forth their best efforts.

Whatever Hunter’s actual results turn out to be, his family will be in the stands. Diane, husband Gray, and Travis’ brothers Will, 25 and Neil, 11, are all making the trip.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Diane Hunter said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Along with enjoying all of the competition, the Hunters will be occupied with helping Neil, who is in fifth grade, create news-style reports to send back to the States via a school website.

Loya will also be eager to hear news from the Games.

“I’m really proud of (Travis),” Loya said. “He’s grown into a man.”

Meet the Special Olympics Team USA Members from Oklahoma

Courtesy of Special Olympics Oklahoma

Special Olympics Oklahoma athlete Steve Lynn from Edmond will be competing in Alpine Skiing. Lynn has been participating in Special Olympics for more than 24 years. He has worked at Target for 19 years as a cart attendant.  In 2012, Lynn was selected to play in the NBA Cares event Unified game in Florida. At that event, he was awarded “Most Dedicated Athlete.” He has also won the MVP award in Soccer and Floor Hockey during state competition.

“Special Olympics has given Steve a venue in which he can excel,” said Joanne Lynn, Steve Lynn’s parent. “It is the only area of his life where he can improve his skills. He may never be able to read, but he can improve his athletic abilities through practice. He loves to compete. He takes the challenge presented by athletes from other teams and countries and works toward a performance to be his very best in the sport in which he is competing.”Lynn’s hobbies include playing and watching many different sports. “He helps around the house with chores, including caring for and loving four cats. Steve loves beating me when we play games on the Wii.”

Special Olympics Oklahoma athlete Amy Wollmershauser from Tulsa will be competing in Snowshoeing. Wollmershauser has been participating in Special Olympics for 21 years. Wollmershauser is employed at Food Pyramid as a grocery clerk, home hardware and custodial. She has served on various committees and boards at Special Olympics Oklahoma including the Board of Directors 2006 to 2008; Oklahoma Law Enforcement Torch Run Committee 2008 to present; Global Messenger; and World Games athlete. “Amy’s life is so rich with friendships, leadership and opportunities for personal achievement with Special Olympics!” said Peggy Wollmershauser, Amy Wollmershauser’s parent. “She has learned that helping others to exceed in their sport is as rewarding as winning herself. She is an optimistic believer in the good of others and the promise of a full future.”

“Competing at the 2013 World Winter Games gives me the opportunity to travel to new places outside the United States,” said Amy Wollmerhauser. “I look forward to seeing where people live and what they wear, too! I like to listen to how they talk and what their life is like and I like to try new foods. I feel proud to represent Team USA and will do my best in competition. I am so lucky to be in Special Olympics!”

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