Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) selected Erika Weiss and Olivia Quigley of Brookfield as two of the 62 athletes to represent Team Wisconsin at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in Princeton, New Jersey on June 14-21, 2014. Wisconsin athletes will compete in athletics, aquatics, bocce, bowling, flag football, gymnastics, powerlifting and volleyball.
Since she joined SOWI, Weiss has competed in Special Olympics basketball, bowling, and athletics (track and field). Weiss said while she has epilepsy, her team supports her and it is beneficial to continue to be active. According to Weiss, Special Olympics helps her stay fit and feel like a winner.
“When I get medals and ribbons, I stand on the podium and everyone claps—that makes me feel like a champion,” she said.
This is her first time attending the Special Olympics USA Games and she is proud to have been selected for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“I am looking forward to a fun experience where I can make friends and see a new place in the country. It will be fun to prepare and get even better [at my sport]!”
When she is not competing or training, Weiss works at the Wisconsin Athletic Club. Weiss will compete in athletics.
Quigley, who has been involved with SOWI for three years, participates in athletics, bowling and snowshoeing. Outside of Special Olympics, Quigley is an advocate for Best Buddies® and Spread the Word to End the Word®, which raises awareness about the hurtful effects of the R-word (“retard”). She has served as the keynote speaker at leadership conferences and traveled to schools throughout the state to share her experiences about the R-word.. When she is not training for Special Olympics, Quigley works at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
“If you work hard and believe in yourself, you can achieve your goals,” said Quigley. “Preparing for the USA Games will challenge me to be disciplined and focused, but it will also be a lot of fun.”
This will be Quigley’s first trip to the USA Games. She will compete in athletics
Support Weiss and Quigley and their trip to the 2014 USA Games at www.SpecialOlympicsWisconsin.org/USAGames.
The 2014 USA Games will showcase the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities, promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport, and celebrate the transformative power of Special Olympics. A total of 3,500 athletes, 1,000 coaches and delegates, 10,000 volunteers and 70,000 spectators will attend.
Sports competition will be held at venues throughout Mercer County, New Jersey, including Princeton University, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, Mercer County Park and several area private schools. There will be ample opportunities for supporters across the state to show their spirit and join the team through volunteerism, donations and attendance. For more information, visit www.SpecialOlympicsWisconsin.org\USAGames.
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