Overcast and rainy skies didn’t stop nearly 1,000 Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) athletes from winning big at the 2013 SOWI State Indoor Sports Tournament (IST) on Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7 at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Hundreds of coaches, volunteers and fans cheered on SOWI athletes competing in team basketball, basketball skills and gymnastics.
As part of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes®, medical professionals completed free, on-site eye, ear, dental, and fitness screenings for all athletes throughout the day. Healthy Athletes improves each athlete’s ability to train and compete in Special Olympics through healthcare screening, exams and education.
US Olympics women’s gymnast, Chellsie Memmel, served as an honorary judge at this year’s IST gymnastics competition.
“It was a really fun day and a great first experience with Special Olympics,” said Memmel. “I had a great time watching the athletes and meeting everyone.”
Memmel, a West Allis native, is the 2005 World All-Around Champion. In 2008, she joined the rest of the US Olympic Team at the Summer Olympics Games in Beijing, China, where she competed in the uneven bars event.
SOWI athlete Elisabeth Andersen, 25, from West Bend Recreation 8-33, eagerly awaited her opportunity to perform for Memmel in the Rhythmic Gymnasts competition.
When asked what she like most about Saturday’s events, Andersen quickly replied, “Everything!”
“I think I did pretty well,” said Anderson. “I had some good luck charms here today.”
On Saturday, the search was on for the Ultimate Fan! Project UNIFY® Youth Activation Committee members scanned the crowds for fans causing a scene – a good scene that is – with loud voices, creative signs, and team spirit as they cheered on their favorite athletes!
Athlete judges Jenny VanLanen, Jess Freund, and Lynn Plagenz from the Green Bay Metros Agency 5-15 carefully reviewed the nominations and selected this year’s IST Ultimate Fan contest winners. Congratulations to the large group of family and friends who cheered on the St. Collettas Bobcats!
Click here for photos and results (andy link) from the tournament. We hope to see you cheering loudly at Summer Games!