Closing – Saturday, June 11

What. A. Week.

In a whirlwind of traveling, hydrating, shade-seeking, team-building, cheering, competing, and accomplishing, Team Wisconsin certainly took the 2022 USA Games by storm. Medals were claimed (39 to be exact!), numerous personal bests were set, and the delegation of nearly 100 athletes and coaches called it a wrap following the final awards ceremonies Saturday evening in Orlando.

Team Wisconsin competed in 76 total events—52 individual events and 24 doubles/team events. When the final races were complete, the delegation took home 14 gold, 12 silver, and 13 bronze medals, meaning a medal was won in more than half of the finals featuring a Team Wisconsin delegate.

Athletics led the way with five gold, two silver, and four bronze finishes alone—including gold in the 4×100 relay. Bocce was right on pace with four gold, three silver, and four bronze with all three four-person teams claiming gold or silver.

Swimming posted four golds of its own to go with a pair of silvers and bronzes for eight total medals. And Bowling landed four silver and three bronze finishes—distributed evenly between singles, doubles, and team competition.

The pair of team sports also had an incredible week. Unified Flag Football’s last-minute go-ahead touchdown to secure gold was certainly one of the more memorable finishes from the week, while big time hits and clutch fielding led Softball to a silver in the highest division offered at the USA Games.

Hats off to the coaching staffs, support personnel, officials, and tournament organizers representing Special Olympics Wisconsin in Orlando this week. They truly went above and beyond, proven by the smiles on the faces of our Team Wisconsin athletes!

There were so many other events happening over the week as well, both on and off the playing venues. The Youth Leadership Experience held a Social Media takeover Thursday and Friday (check them out on Facebook & Instagram). Weeklong Healthy Athletes programming helped all participants earn a free pair of shoes courtesy of Zappos. Our very own X Games-turned-media star Daina Shilts (Neillsville) was welcomed as an ESPN Analyst for the nationally-broadcast Opening Ceremony. UW-Oshkosh’s Chris Tarmann represented Wisconsin at the LETR Final Leg leading into the week. And of course, the families and friends who came out to support Team Wisconsin in full force was truly incredible.

Finally, this week was made possible by generous donations from the Wisconsin State Council Knights of Columbus, nationwide partner Jersey Mike’s, and all the grassroots support donated by our SOWI community.

It was a long, hot week in Orlando. But with so much success and so many memories made, Team Wisconsin is already looking forward to Minneapolis in 2026!

Keep track of all our Team Wisconsin Individual & Team Results!

Check out all of Team Wisconsin’s Medal Moments from the week!

Images from the week are still rolling in. Recapture the memories in our sport-specific Flickr albums!


Day 5 – Friday, June 10

Hardware was aplenty for Team Wisconsin in Friday’s final slate of competition, highlighted by wins in the pool, on the track, and on the bocce carpet.

Bocce entered four-player team competition Friday with all three teams playing pool play and medal rounds. The traditional team of Heather Hansen (La Crosse), Allen Lynard (Beaver Dam), Nadine McKee (La Crosse), and Brian Schuster (Beaver Dam) scored the final 12 points to win gold in Division 6, 13-11. The quartet of Cathy Hanin (Glendale), Jaime Jenks (Sun Prairie), Christian Sylvester (Waunakee), and Garet Ziegler (Waunakee) went 0-3 in pool play, yet responded strong by winning silver in D4. Finally, the unified team of Jennifer & Malinda Fuerstenau (Beaver Dam) and Eric & Del Yerges (Columbus) overcame a 9-1 deficit to win its semifinal before falling just point short in the gold medal matchup to also secure silver.

Team Wisconsin’s Swimming finished up its rigorous schedule Friday morning, led by two impressive performances by Katelynn Robinson (Ashland). In a challenging double-dip, Katelynn first swam for silver in the Division 7 100 Freestyle, then swam a D5 50 Backstroke to near-perfection to score her first gold at a USA Games event. Annie Mulligan (Madison) also picked up gold late Thursday in the 50 freestyle.

After posting a disqualifying score that proved “too good” in the long jump, Jerry Halboth (Williams Bay) earned USA Games redemption in the Division 3 200-meter run with a time of 30.54 seconds, securing his first medal in golden fashion. A pair of Team Wisconsin Athletics teammates also added medals of their own in the mini-javelin Friday. Jermaine Collins (Milwaukee) tossed a distance of 13.55 to score gold in D6, while Christian Emery (Oshkosh) launched the javelin 15.70 meters for silver in D2.

Team Wisconsin Softball battled with the top team in the country in the Division 1 gold medal matchup Friday morning, but fell to powerhouse Team Kansas 16-8 to claim silver. Team Kansas outscored opponents 86-20 over the week, and Team Wisconsin’s eight runs scored Friday were the most by any other team.

Our Flickr albums will be continually updated throughout the week. Check back often! 

Saturday’s Schedule (Tentative)

Athletics
All events completed

Bocce
All events completed

Bowling
All events completed

Unified Flag Football
All events completed

Softball
All events completed

Swimming
All events completed


Day 4 – Thursday, June 9

Team Wisconsin secured a whopping nine medals in a very busy Thursday in Orlando.

In to simply incredible showings, the Unified Flag Football team representing unified partners from UW-Madison swept its Magnolia State twin bill to secure gold. Team Wisconsin shut out Mississippi State in the second half en route to a 25-12 day-opening win, then overcame a seven-point deficit with less than a minute left to surge past Ole Miss, 21-20. The wins guarantee Team Wisconsin gold in the Unified Division 2 playoff pool.

Team Wisconsin Softball pulled off a thrilling comeback of its own in the Division 1 semifinal, pushing four runs across in the bottom of the fifth to walk off previously unbeaten Maryland, 8-7. Softball will compete for gold Friday morning against a very good squad from Team Kansas.

Three medals were snatched by Team Wisconsin on the bocce courts, highlighted by a pair of medals in unified divisions. Eric & Del Yerges (Columbus) cruised to gold while the sisters of Jennifer & Malinda Fuerstenau (Beaver Dam) finished bronze–both competing in Division 12 unified doubles. The tandem of Heather Hansen (La Crosse) & Nadine McKee (La Crosse) were the epitome of focus in traditional doubles action, being truly surprised they had won a gold of their own in D11.

Team Wisconsin Swimming went 2-for-2 in medaling Thursday at Rosen Aquatic Center, competing in a pair of 100 breaststroke races. Sofia Walhovd‘s (Portage) top time of 1:51.19 was the top time in Division 3, while Lexi Galarowicz (Menomonie) took home bronze in D2.

Sean Ashenhurst (Oak Creek) and Christian Emery (West Bend) battled to individual bronze medals for Team Wisconsin Athletics Thursday. Sean’s came in the Division 2 800-meter run, while Christian’s came in D4 100-meter run.

Finally, Team Wisconsin Bowling took to the lanes for the team competition, supporting both unified and traditional four-player teams. In Division 2, the unified squad of Jake & Ken Casper (Oregon) and PJ & Andrew Lynch (Milwaukee) rolled for silver.

Our Flickr albums will be continually updated throughout the week. Check back often! 

Friday’s Schedule (Tentative)

Athletics
8a – All athletes (Medal Races)

Bocce
8a – Teams (Preliminaries & Medal Rounds)
8a – Unified Teams (Preliminaries & Medal Rounds)

Bowling
All events completed

Unified Flag Football
All events completed

Softball
10a – Team Wisconsin v. Team Kansas (Playoffs)

Swimming
9a – All athletes (Medal Races)


Day 3 – Wednesday, June 8

Team Wisconsin Swimming headlined the Day 3 slate, taking home a quintet of medals in the pool at Rosen Aquatic and Fitness Center. Sofia Walhovd (Portage) posted an impressive silver medal finish in the Division 2 Freestyle race with a time of 3:13.82. She then teamed up with Justin Esala (Ashland), Lexi Galarowicz (Menomonie), and Ryan Moon (Oshkosh) in a wild 4×50 Medley Relay, surging to bronze with a time of 2:51.77.

Bowling also notched a strong showing in doubles competition Wednesday, tallying six total medals across the teams. Karen Grzegorski (Greenfield) and Gabe Wells (West Allis) teamed up for silver in Division 7 doubles, while Gwyneth Harrington (Milwaukee) & Daniel Zalewski (Milwaukee) finished right behind them in bronze. Brothers PJ & Andrew Lynch (Milwaukee) represented Team Wisconsin in unified doubles, also securing bronze in D3.

On the track, Bobby Kuske (Whitefish Bay) added a silver in Division 7 long jump to his gold from earlier in the week. The rest of the track squad will finish up Thursday & Friday at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

The Team Wisconsin Softball team put up another incredible effort on Day 3 of competition, blasting past previously unbeaten Team Florida, 16-1. Team Wisconsin finishes with a 2-1 record atop its pool and will face Team Maryland in a playoff semifinal Thursday morning.

Unified Flag Football dropped a heartbreaker to Ole Miss (Team Mississippi 2) in a noontime tilt, 21-19. The loss drops Team Wisconsin–represented by unified partners from UW-Madison–to 1-2 overall. It will enter into a playoff round-robin pool with familiar foes, playing the pair of teams representing Mississippi State and Ole Miss in a Thursday twin bill.

Bocce jumped into preliminary matches in doubles today and will move into the medal rounds Thursday.

Our Flickr albums will be continually updated throughout the week. Check back often! 

Thursday’s Schedule (Tentative)

Athletics
9a – All athletes (Preliminaries & Medal Races)

Bocce
8a – Doubles (Medal Rounds)
8a – Unified Doubles (Medal Rounds)

Bowling
9a – Teams (Preliminaries & Medal Rounds)
9a – Unified Teams (Preliminaries & Medal Rounds)

Unified Flag Football
8a – Team Wisconsin v. Mississippi State (Playoffs)
10a – Team Wisconsin v. Ole Miss (Playoffs)

Softball
8:30a – Team Wisconsin v. Team Maryland (Playoffs)

Swimming
9a – All athletes (Preliminaries & Medal Races)


Day 2 – Tuesday, June 7

Team Wisconsin opened Day 2 with its very first gold medal at the 2022 USA Games–and the success didn’t stop there!

Athletics (Track & Field) competitor Robert Kuske (Whitefish Bay) posted a time of 6:15.36 in the Division 1 1500-meter run, more than five seconds ahead of second place to score Team Wisconsin’s first gold medal of the day. Teammates Sean Ashenhurst (Oak Creek) and Chelsie Workman (Rice Lake) added some hardware of their own, earning bronze in the D2 1500-meter run and D5 400-meter run, respectively.

Athlete Steve Woodard (Portage) took home the first gold medal for the Team Wisconsin Swimming squad with a time of 55.25 in the Division 3 50 yard Breaststroke.

Bocce also added plenty of shiny new hardware to the Team Wisconsin trophy case Tuesday. Christian Sylvester (Waunakee) dominated his gold medal matchup, 12-2, securing the title in Division 10 Singles. Heather Hansen (La Crosse) represented Team Wisconsin on the women’s side with a silver medal in D17 Singles. Cathy Hanin (Glendale) and Jaime Jenks (Sun Prairie) added bronzes in D10 and D16, respectively, while Eric Yerges (Columbus) added bronze of his own in D17.

Not to be outdone, Bowling added a trio of medals in singles competition today as well. PJ Lynch (Milwaukee) and TJ Ryan (Fitchburg) each took home silver medals in Divisions 9 and 5, respectively. Gabe Wells (West Allis) added a bronze for Team Wisconsin in D1.

Both team sports also picked up major victories over the delegation from the Magnolia State. Team Wisconsin Unified Flag Football scored a late touchdown to secure its first tournament win over Team Mississippi 1, 25-19. Additionally, Team Wisconsin Softball blasted its way to an 11-1 win over Team Mississippi 11-1. Both teams return to action tomorrow.

Our Flickr albums will be continually updated throughout the week. Check back often! 

Wednesday’s Schedule (Tentative)

Athletics
9a – All athletes (Preliminaries & Medal Races)

Bocce
8a – Doubles (Preliminaries)
8a – Unified Doubles (Preliminaries)

Bowling
9a – Doubles (Preliminaries & Medal Rounds)
9a – Unified Doubles (Preliminaries & Medal Rounds)

Unified Flag Football
Noon – Team Wisconsin v. Ole Miss

Softball
8:30a – Team Wisconsin v. Team Florida

Swimming
9a – All athletes (Preliminaries & Medal Races)


Day 1 – Monday, June 6

Team Wisconsin kicked off its USA Games competition schedule Monday morning. The Unified Flag Football, Softball, and Track & Field teams opened play at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports while Bocce debuted its pool play slate at Coronado Springs Resort. Swimming took to the pool at Rosen Aquatic & Fitness Center for (mostly) preliminary races and the Bowling crew representing Team Wisconsin got in some preliminary action at Boardwalk Bowl.

Bright and early, the Unified Flag Football squad nearly mounted a comeback against host Team Florida. While Team Wisconsin’s defense posted a second-half shut out, a fourth down with less than a minute remaining fell just short to secure the 18-12 win for Team Florida.

Team Wisconsin Softball followed suit, nearly erasing a six-run deficit in its opener against Team Texas. TW had a pair of runners in scoring position in the bottom of the inning, but Texas worked its way out of the jam to secure the 15-13 win.

All Bocce athletes dove into pool play action as well, with Heather Hansen (La Crosse) securing a trio of exciting victories and Christian Sylvester (Waunakee) also posting a perfect 2-0 record on day one.

The 500 yard Freestyle was the lone Swimming final event Monday. Team Wisconsin’s Justin Esala (Ashland) logged a personal best time of 7:33.12, finishing just off the podium in fourth place.

Our Flickr albums will be continually updated throughout the week. Check back often! 

Tuesday’s Schedule (Tentative)

Athletics
9a – All athletes (Preliminaries & Medal Races)

Bocce
8a – Singles (Medal Rounds)

Bowling
9a – Singles (Medal Rounds)

Unified Flag Football
9a – Team Wisconsin v. Mississippi St.

Softball
11:30a – Team Wisconsin v. Team Mississippi

Swimming
9a – All athletes (Preliminaries & Medal Races)


Opening Ceremony – Sunday, June 5

Team Wisconsin joined thousands of Special Olympics athletes representing the United States of America, South America, and the Caribbean at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games Opening Ceremony Sunday afternoon. The delegations received a serenade from singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, danced with Mickey Mouse and company, and shared in the celebration from thousands of supporters at Exploria Stadium in downtown Orlando.

Chris Tarmann, Captain of the UW-Oshkosh Police Department, was also featured in the Opening Ceremony as Team Wisconsin’s representative for the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg, culminating in the lighting of the Special Olympics Torch and officially opening the 2022 USA Games.

Neillsville native and X Games snowboarding superstar Daina Shilts starred in her second straight USA Games as ESPN Analyst, joining Kevin Negandhi and Jen Lada in ESPN’s Opening Ceremony coverage. Joining the panel were former professional athletes Tim Tebow and Julie Foudy.

Following the Opening Ceremony, Team Wisconsin cooled off at nearby Amway Arena with some lunch and a show–a surprise performance from the Harlem Globetrotters.

Check out our Opening Ceremony Flickr Album!

 

Monday’s Schedule (Tentative)

Athletics
9a – All athletes (Preliminaries)

Bocce
9a – Singles (Preliminaries)

Bowling
9a – Singles (Preliminaries)

Unified Flag Football
8a – Team Wisconsin v. Univ. of Florida

Softball
8:30a – Team Wisconsin v. Team Texas

Swimming
9a – All athletes (Preliminaries & Medal Rounds)


You can also follow the Games using the Special Olympics USA Games app. Download it today!


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