This FAQ page is primarily related to Team Wisconsin. For more general information on the USA Games, please visit the FAQ page for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.
How many athletes from Wisconsin are competing in the 2022 USA Games?
- Wisconsin is sending 57 athletes and 8 Unified partners from around the state to compete in Track/Field, Swim, Bocce, Bowling, Softball & Unified Flag Football
What does Unified Flag Football mean?
- Team Wisconsin’s Unified Flag Football team will compete in Unified Sports®, which combines individuals with intellectual disabilities (athletes) and individuals without intellectual disabilities (partners) on sports teams to promote social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences. The program was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.
How many Special Olympics local programs will be represented?
- 22 Special Olympics Local Programs (and 1 SO College) from across Wisconsin will be represented by athletes in the USA Games. Each of Special Olympics Wisconsin’s seven regions is represented.
How were the Special Olympics athletes for Team Wisconsin selected?
- Athletes who wanted to be considered for the 2022 USA Games had to meet sport-specific criteria.
- Qualifying athletes could submit an application to attend the USA Games Selection Camp held September 17-19, 2021.
- Upon successful completion of the Selection Camp, athletes and Unified partners were randomly selected for placement on Team Wisconsin.
Were athletes who have been to previous USA or World Games eligible for the 2022 USA Games?
- Yes, athletes who previously competed at a USA or World Games were eligible for the 2022 USA Games and there are several athletes who made the team that have USA or World Games experience. However, athletes who had previously competed in a USA Games or World Games had one card included in the random draw while athletes who had never competed at the national or international level had two cards included.
Is this the highest level of competition in Special Olympics?
- No, there are international competitions like the World Summer Games and the World Winter Games. Due to Covid, there will be a World Winter Games in Kazan Russia and World Summer Games in Berlin Germany in 2023.
Who will be accompanying the athletes and Unified partners to Orlando?
- The Team Wisconsin delegation will include 17 coaches, a head of delegation, an assistant head of delegation, a team doctor, three members of SOWI’s Youth Activation Committee who will be participating in the Youth Leadership Experience, and a handful of support staff.
When is Team Wisconsin leaving for Orlando?
- The Wisconsin Delegation will leave from General Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee on Saturday, June 4. They will bus as a team from Wisconsin to the airport.
When is Team Wisconsin returning from Orlando?
- The Wisconsin Delegation will return on Sunday, June 12, flying back into General Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee
Will there be a send-off celebration?
- Yes, there will be send-off celebration on the Morning Saturday, June 4 in Milwaukee. It will be open to the public. Details on the celebration are TBD.
Who pays for the members of Team Wisconsin to participate in the USA Games?
- The majority of the funding for Team Wisconsin’s delegation comes from the general fund that is supported through fundraising efforts like the Polar Plunge, Run With The Cops, the Truck Convoy and other events throughout the year. The Wisconsin State Council for the Knights of Columbus also generously supports Team Wisconsin as a Presenting Partner of the USA Games. Additionally, each athlete and Unified partner is required to raise a minimum of $500 for the USA Games while others are required to raise a minimum of $250.
How can I help support Team Wisconsin?
- Donations to a specific member of the Team Wisconsin delegation or general donations can be made here.
Where will Team Wisconsin be staying during the USA Games?
- Team Wisconsin and the teams from other state programs will be staying on the Disney resort in Orlando Florida.
Will the USA Games be televised?
- ESPN will be the official broadcaster for the 2022 USA Games in Orlando. Stay tuned to your local listings or ESPN’s online programming for their schedule of USA Games coverage. Fans can also get updates on USA Games coverage as well as competition results by following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
What is the Youth Leadership Experience?
- The Youth Leadership Experience is an immersive experience in which participants will hold volunteer roles, engage in educational and interactive experiences, and shadow experienced key volunteers. Having the chance to reflect on, review, and learn from their everyday experiences at the Games, these youth leaders will become more deeply connected to the Special Olympics movement as committed volunteers, teammates and friends for life. Team Wisconsin will include two youth leaders and one mentor from its Youth Activation Committee participating in the Youth Leadership Experience.
What is the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg?
- In the days before competition begins at the USA Games, an elite group of individuals will serve as the “Guardians of the Flame” and escort the Special Olympics Flame of Hope on a journey across the entire state of Washington, raising awareness for Special Olympics and generating excitement for the USA Games.
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