Meet Team Wisconsin Athlete, Andrew Gitzlaff

February 11, 2014

Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) selected Andrew Gitzlaff of Stone Bank as one of 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.

Gitzlaff has participated in Special Olympics Wisconsin athletics, volleyball, bowling, and cycling for the past 11 years. He has won many medals for competing in athletics and volleyball, but his favorite sports memory is still winning his very first medal in track. According to Gitzlaff, the recognition he receives from his teammates, family and coaches makes him feel like a champion.

“Special Olympics helps me to be challenged and grow my athletic skills,” he said. “It gives me a sense of purpose and self-worth and helps me be more focused and attentive.”

Gitzlaff will compete in volleyball and will be one of 86 delegates representing Team Wisconsin at the 2014 USA Games in New Jersey. When he’s not training or competing, he works at Aluma-Tech in Waukesha and volunteers at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Wales.

SOWI will host an official training camp for Team Wisconsin athletes on May 17-18, 2014 at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. 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 or to learn more about how you can support a local athlete, visit www.SpecialOlympicsWisconsin.orgUSAGames.

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