Day 1 of competition at the Special Olympics USA Games brought lots of intensity and several early-week medals for Team Wisconsin. Team Wisconsin bowlers picked up four day-one medals. Brooklyn Kolff and Jacob Wilson scored golds right out of the gate in their individual events, while Brianna Paulson nabbed a silver. Krista Hinckley had a powerful response on the medal stand when she accepted her bronze.
Jarod Falk kicked things off for Team Wisconsin at the King County Aquatic Center with a dramatic come-from-behind victory in his 200-meter freestyle swim. As the first Team Wisconsin swimmer of the day, his impressive gold-medal race set the tone for the day. Each of the six swimmers who competed on Monday medaled in their first event of these Games. Steve Woodard joined Jarod at the top of the podium when he earned a gold medal by swimming a personal record in the 50-meter breaststroke.
Team Wisconsin’s Unified Soccer Team started their tournament off against Team Washington. With the home advantage on their side, Washington was able to pull off a 4-0 victory against Team Wisconsin. In the afternoon Team Wisconsin bounced back with a 2-1 win against Team Colorado.
Team Wisconsin’s basketball team lost to a formidable Illinois opponent but the team’s chemistry improved noticeably throughout the game, leaving Team Wisconsin with a lot to look forward to in the coming week.
SOWI athlete Daina Shilts had fun continuing her work as an ESPN analyst by filming a segment on stand-up paddle boarding, which is making its Special Olympics USA Games debut this week.
Opening Ceremony and competition photos (will be updated daily throughout the week)