Meet Team Wisconsin Athlete, John Avery

November 26, 2013

Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) selected John Avery of Milwaukee 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.

Thirty year old Avery has participated in Special Olympics since his 11thbirthday. He competes in a sport every season including volleyball, softball, soccer, basketball, and snow shoe racing. His favorite sports memory was when his softball team won a gold medal at the State Outdoor Sports Tournament in 2012. 

“Special Olympics makes me feel like a champion because we live the athlete oath, ‘Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt,” he said.

Avery also participates in the SOWI Athlete Leadership Program’s Spreads the Word to End the Word® campaign by talking to people about the harmful effects of using the word retard or retarded.  

When he’s not competing or training, Avery enjoys working at Howard Village, an apartment complex for senior citizens. According to Avery, the tenants at Howard Village support his passion for Special Olympics and often congratulate him on his medals. 

Avery will compete in volleyball and will be one of 86 delegates representing Team Wisconsin at the 2014 USA Games in New Jersey.

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 

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