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From Unknown to top of the Podium: Detroit’s Rising Champions

Athletes Prepare for 10th Annual Special Olympics Michigan State Fall Games

Hundreds of Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) athletes and Unified partners are training in preparation for the 2023 State Fall Games. September 22 and September 23, 2023, individuals and teams will compete in golf, soccer, kayaking, and cycling events.

Top Golf Teams Up With Special Olympics in Auburn Hills

Special Olympics and modern golf entertainment leader Topgolf have formed an international Unified Sports® alliance to support the Inclusion Revolution. This event within the Special Olympics sport of Golf will also activate at Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) at its Auburn Hills location.

Just Call Joan: A Teacher’s Role in Shaping the #UnifiedGeneration

“If I ever need anything I just call… Joan,” Jaeley Huelskamp cringed and laughed as she said the name “Joan.” Joan is more commonly known to Huelskam as “Mrs. Robertson.” It was only recently the two women transitioned from a student-teacher relationship to peers.

Huelskamp completed her inaugural year as an educator at Lake Fenton High School a few months ago. She first met Joan Robertson more than a decade ago, in 2013, as a freshman at Grand Blanc High School. Robertson was leading a new after-school program known as Project UNIFY.

Beyond Service: What it Means to be an AmeriCorps Member

“We like to think of our AmeriCorps positions as service positions. What we’re doing is a service, not a job,” said Austin Shepherd, a Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) AmeriCorps Member. “It’s not ‘I went to work today’ it’s ‘I went to serve today’,” he explained about what he calls ‘The Service Mindset,’ a common personality trait amongst his AmeriCorps colleagues. 

International Inclusion Warriors Return Home from World Games

Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 have come and gone, but for the Michigan members representing Special Olympics USA (SO USA), the memories will not soon fade.

The Road to World Games: Randy Coleman, Head Kayaking Coach  

Randy Coleman of Horton, Michigan, has been involved with Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) for 13 years. His involvement started as a parent in 2009 when his daughter, Stephanie, signed up to play soccer as an athlete. What started out as helping in practices, led him to become more involved.

Special Olympics is part of a family,” Coleman explained. “What I really enjoy the most is working with the athletes, seeing how they compete, the fulfillment they get out of being part of something, finding out what they can do ability-wise through practice and competition.”

Fly High: The Road to World Games, Lawrence Robuste | Athletics

Aerobatics is not a sport offered at Special Olympics; it’s not even an Olympic sport. So, we’ll have to settle with the next closest thing to that – flying down the track. Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) athletics athlete Lawrence Robuste of Ypsilanti knows plenty about flying without wings. When asked what he loves most about his four years as a runner with SOMI he said, “It makes me feel like I can fly.”

Guardian of the Flame: Sean Wheeler, Special Olympics World Games Final Leg Runner

If you can’t run, Plunge… unless it’s summer,” said Sean Wheeler, a Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) Parole Agent, when speaking on his experience with the Michigan Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR). Wheeler is an avid Polar Plunger, making an icy dip each winter to raise money and awareness for SOMI athletes. But running? Hard pass. In fact, despite his commitment to volunteering with LETR, running to Wheeler is “miserable.” 

2023 State Summer Games Resources

May 31 - June 2, 2023
Central Michigan University - Mount Pleasant, Michigan

The 2023 State Summer Games represents SOMI's largest event since 2019 - a return to form for our biggest competition and celebration of the year! However, this year, there will be several significant changes to our competition, as CMU is undergoing major construction of the outdoor facilities and athletics grounds. 


Meeting the Moment: Special Olympics Michigan’s NEW Podcast is Live!

Stories from and inspired by the Special Olympics inclusion movement across Michigan and beyond.

Special Olympics Michigan’s podcast is inspired by our Special Olympics athletes - the true game-changers who stand tall, push comfort zones, and inspire us when it counts - in the moment. Through our newest storytelling platform, we share stories about how Special Olympics game-changers met "their moment" and rose above, to make a more inclusive, just world. 

Special Olympics Michigan Athletes & Unified Partners Prepare for State Summer Games

The 2023 State Summer Games, Special Olympics Michigan’s (SOMI) largest annual event, will see attendance numbers return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023. The event on Central Michigan University’s Main Campus in Mount Pleasant, Michigan will host more than 2,000 athletes and Unified Partners for sports competition May 31 – June 2. The event is expected to draw in thousands more coaches, family members, and fans throughout the three-day event. 

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