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STATEWIDE, Mich. – More than 50 Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) athletes, Unified Partners, coaches, and support staff have earned a place on Team Michigan for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games hosted in Orlando, Florida this June. 

“This is my dream come true,” said Tyler Lawton, Athletics qualifier for Team Michigan. “I have been trying for 17 years. I have been working hard. I can’t thank my coaches and teammates enough for pushing me.”

June 5 -12, the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games will unite more than 5,500 participants from all 50 states and the Caribbean during one of the country’s most cherished sporting events. The athletes of Special Olympics will display the power of sport in more than 19 forms of competition during the week-long event, celebrating their dedication and perseverance in creating a more inclusive world. 

Earlier this year, Team Michigan members learned they qualified for USA Games in a surprise reveal. Each moment was captured on video – and the reactions are memorable!

“We had been talking about Florida for a little bit, but we didn’t know if it was going to happen, even after that championship game,” said Ty Van Wieren, Holland Christian’s head Unified soccer coach. “For Special Olympics Michigan to surprise the kids, it was the coolest thing to see their reaction.”

Special Olympics is dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences. Nearly 1.4 million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports, breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities. 

Track

  • Julian Borst (A16), Athlete
  • Tyler Lawton (A5), Athlete
  • Dave Pruder (A9), Coach

Basketball (A15)

  • Andrew Howell, Athlete 
  • Fremier Collazo, Athlete
  • Marquise Eason, Athlete
  • Deontay Giles, Athlete
  • Anthony Jasper, Athlete
  • Nathaniel Perkins, Athlete
  • Oren Ramsey, Athlete
  • Rasheen Hatton, Athlete
  • Fred McFadden, Coach

Bowling

  • Tyler Baxter (A20), Athlete
  • Brice Chase (A15), Athlete
  • Christina Homminga (A9), Athlete
  • Amanda Davis (A5), Athlete
  • Allison Wonch (A8), Coach

Softball (A23)

  • Scott Barclay, Athlete
  • Willford "Ray" Bice, Athlete
  • Matthew Brown, Athlete
  • Kevin Conaway, Athlete
  • Spencer Garner, Athlete
  • Brian Hamilton, Athlete
  • Drew Holewinski, Athlete
  • Joseph Keller, Athlete
  • Luke Monroe, Athlete
  • Dominic "Tony" Rosati, Athlete
  • Dennis Kotlarek, Athlete
  • Randall Saliers, Coach
  • Greg Brown, Coach
  • Wilford "Ray" Bice, Coach

Swimming

  • Kaitlin Konynenbelt (A12), Athlete
  • Ashley Mokma (A12), Athlete
  • Anne Goudie (A8), Coach

Unified Basketball (A13)

  • Dalvin Keller, Athlete
  • John Marsiglio, Athlete
  • Clinton Bookmiller-Haynes, Athlete
  • Drew Callahan, Athlete
  • Deshaun Jones, Athlete
  • David Rice, Athlete
  • Cole Skinner, Unified Partner
  • Trevor Haynes, Unified Partner 
  • Michael Owens, Unified Partner
  • River Langford, Unified Partner
  • Sheila Gafney, Coach
  • James Jewell, Coach

Golf

  • Alikhan Amlani (A13), Athlete
  • Kurt Chapelle (A13), Unified Partner
  • Mike Mignano (A8), Coach

Unified Soccer (A12)

  • Joshua Vanderbilt, Athlete 
  • Tyler VanHaitsma, Athlete
  • Zach Maat, Athlete
  • Benjamin Feaster, Athlete
  • Jed Comden, Athlete
  • Samual Kass, Athlete
  • Caden Brinks, Partner
  • Kate Schemper, Partner
  • Shane VanderZee, Partner
  • Lydia DeBlecourt, Partner
  • Teddy Hallebeek, Partner
  • Spencer Wisdom, Partner
  • Ann Pawloski, Coach
  • Ty VanWieren, Coach
  • Noah Kanis, Coach

Youth Leadership Experience

  • Maria Huhta (A15)
  • Caleb Foster (A16)
  • Jamie Cotter 

Staff

  • Heather Burke, Head of Delegation
  • Kellie Murphy, Assistant Head of Delegation
  • Nick Caudle, Assistant Staff
  • Avery Reinwald, Assistant Staff
  • Bo Parker, Assistant Staff (Media)
  • Julie Middlin, Assistant Staff (Medical)