February 21, 2018
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Special Olympics Maine team brings home 14 gold medals

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A delegation of 60 Special Olympics Maine athletes and coaches have brought home many medals from a week of competition at the Special Olympics USA Games in Princeton, N.J.’ including 14 golds.

The final medal and ribbon count for Maine is: gold, 14; silver, 28; bronze, 24; fourth place, 11; fifth place, four; sixth place, five; seventh place, three; participation ribbons, three.

Special Olympics Maine athletes competed June 14-21 in aquatics, athletics, bocce, basketball, bowling, and golf. New Jersey played host to 3,500 athletes; 1,000 coaches and delegates; 10,000 volunteers; and 70,000 spectators and families. Thanks to Maine’s Premier Sponsor, Lucas Tree Experts, this is the largest delegation Special Olympics Maine has ever sent to an out-of-state competition.

In addition to daily time trials, qualifiers and competitions, the athletes also had the chance to enjoy a Trenton Thunder Game, a harbor dinner cruise, and an Olympic Village designed after the Jersey Shore.

Half of Team Maine had a unique opportunity to fly to and from the games via donated Cessnas as part of the Citation Special Olympics Airlift. The 2014 Citation Special Olympics Airlift is coordinated by Cessna Aircraft Company, part of the Textron Aviation segment of Textron Inc. CSOA is a signature community endeavor conducted every four years, calling upon Citation owners and operators from across the country to help transport athletes and coaches to Special Olympics USA Games. For the first time in the event’s 27-year history, this year Beechcraft and Hawker owners were also invited to participate. On the trip from Maine to New Jersey, five planes were donated; four for the return trip.

All of these experiences were made possible for Team Maine thanks to our USA Games Team Maine Premier Sponsor, Lucas Tree Experts. Lucas Tree held a variety of fundraising events for several months prior to the games, including bottle drives, raffles, and a golf tournament, all of which made it possible for our athletes to experience this national event. Art Batson, JR, President of Lucas Tree even attended a portion of the Games and marched in with Team Maine during Opening Ceremonies.

Teams were Amicus, Bangor; Boothbay Region; Navigators, Auburn; MERT Enterprises, Brewer; Hampden Schools;  Emma R. Foundation, Dixfield; Sage Turmelle, independent, Waterville; Flying Eagles, Lewiston; JFM Homes, Auburn; Tri-Topwn Knights, Poland; OHI, Brewer; Central Aroostook ARC; Momentum, Casco; SOME Board of Directors; Travis Curtis, independent, Searsmont; L.C. Dill Center, Skowhegan; Skills Inc.; Eagles Outreach.

Special Olympics is a year-round sports training and competition program for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. In Maine there are over 3,800 athletes who participate in the program. USA Games occur every four years as well as World Winter and Summer Games. The next out of state competition will be the 2015 World Games in California. www.somaine.org

Team athletes, coaches and unified partners and their teams were:

Aquatics: Cailynn Goss, Hampden, alternate, Amicus; Joey Ranco, Boothbay, alternate, Boothbay Region; Donny Dunning, Boothbay, Boothbay Region; Began Dyer, Lewiston, Navigators; Matthew Farnham, Boothbay, Boothbay Region; Aimee Guerette, Brewer, MERT Enterprises; Paul Houston, Dedham, MERT Enterprises; Della Lippincott, Lewiston, Navigators; Kelsey Tripp, Winterport, Hampden Schools; Thomas Wilcox, Boothbay, Boothbay Region; Toby LeConte, Boothbay, aquatics coach, Boothbay Region; Sandra Hebert, Dixfield, aquatics head coach, Emma R. Foundation.

Athletics: Shaughnessy Dalton, Winterport, alternate, Hampden Schools; Sage Turmelle, Waterville, alternate, independent; Justin Beliveau, Lewiston, Navigators; Anna Brooks, Auburn, Flying Eagles; Joel Burkhardt, Lisbon, Flying Eagles; Jennifer Cativera, Poland, JFM Homes; David Ellington, Auburn, Tri-Town Knights; Todd Morin, Minot, Navigators; Travis Dunbar, Lisbon, athletics coach, Tri-Town Knights; Robin Mendenhall, Orono, athletics head coach, Amicus.

Basketball: Joshua Brosious, Auburn, Navigators; Ryan Bouchard, Lewiston, Navigators; Josh Costain, Hermon, OHI; Tasha Flaherty, Washburn, Central Aroostook ARC; Austin Hanson, Westfield, Central Aroostook ARC; Philip Hanson, Westfield, Central Aroostook ARC; Rhonda LeConte, Boothbay, Boothbay Region; Brenda LeConte, Boothbay, Boothbay Rgion; Lloyd Morneault, Lewiston, Navigators; Charles Tozier, Bangor, MERT Enterprises; Deirdre Hines, Buckfield, basketball coach, Boothbay Region; Rhonda Lausier, South Paris, basketball coach, Momentum; Brian Hamel, Presque Isle, basketball head coach, Central Aroostook ARC.

Bocce: Megan Booker, Auburn, Navigators; Caitlyn Gunn, Bangor, Amicus; Daniel Scott, Eddington, Amicus; James Therrien, Minot. Navigators; Chris Vachon, Lewiston, Flying Eagles; Wendy Gilbert, Bradley, bocce coach, MERT Enterprises; Scott Gregory, Fryeburg, bocce head coach, SOME Board of Directors; and unified partners Jeff Bosse, Milford, Amicus; Bernie Oster, Stetson, OHI; Brian Swidenski, Topsham, Flying Eagles; Deb Wetherell, Buckfield, Navigators.

Bowling: Madison Mooers, Hampden, Hampden Schools; Brandon Mullin, Lewiston, Navigators; Fred Cummings, Otisfield, bowling head coach, Living Innovation; unified partners Bryiana Mooers, Hampden, Hampden Schools; and Heather Wheaton, Glenburn, OHI.

Golf: Christopher Hebert, Dixfield, alternate, Emma R. Foundation; Travis Curtis, Searsmont, independent; William Farnham, Waterville, LC Dill Center; Brian Richards, Jay, Navigators; Frank Theriault, Skowhegan, golf head coach, LC Dill Center; Jane Knox, Brunswick, alternate coach, Eagles Outreach; Kevin Taft, Solon, unified partner, Skills Inc.; and Andrea Lee, Bangor, caddy, Hampden Schools.