USA and World Games

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The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be held in Seattle, Washington, July 1-6 and will bring together more than 4,000 Special Olympics athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the District of Columbia together to compete before tens of thousands of spectators and volunteers.

The 2018 USA Games will showcase the limitless talents of people with intellectual disabilities while promoting the barrier-breaking power of sport to promote inclusion and acceptance. The event will also celebrate Special Olympics' 50th anniversary in 2018.

Special Olympics Connecticut is proud to be sending athletes and Unified Sports partners to the 2018 USA Games to compete in bocce, tennis, bowling, track & field, swimming and basketball. To learn more about Team members and make a donation to support them, please click here.


Lesley Morgan - Head of Delegation
Amanda Parolise - Assistant Head of Delegation
Craig Malan - Floating Coach/Medical

Heather Minervini - Coach
Karl Arezzini, Stephen Emblidge, Lia Muchin and Alec Sachs - Athletes          

Cara Manforte, Coach
Justin Mazza, Sean Murphy, Joshua Oakley and Thomas O'Neill - Athletes

Unified Tennis
Emily Malan - Coach
Lonnie Braxton III, Brett Glaser, Nicholas Leitkowski and Paul Tetreault - Unified Teammates

Unified Basketball
Chris Staley and Shellie Ciccarelli - Coaches
Nicholas Allard, Mark Bastien, Daniel Benjamin, Cameron Duda, James Franck, Patrick Jones, Elijah Lamarre, Alex Lherisson, Giovanni Moran, Jared Small - Unified Teammates

Unified Bowling
Lisa Thomasco - Coach
Laurice Borders, Shayne Curtiss, Richard Kent and Abby Snyder - Unified Teammates     

Alternate Shot Golf
Kevin Smith - Coach
Dale Akerley, Jessica Fobert, Joyce Grodovich and Anthony Thibeault - Unified Teammates

Youth Leadership:
Yori Hotta - Coach
Mya Deshaw and Olivia Stanikmas - Unified Teammates

USA Games Video Gaming Tournament:
Matthew Sweet - Coach
Christian and Nathan Aponte - Unified Teammates


Title Sponsor 

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In-Kind Contributors

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Connecticut Sports and Fitness

Team Sponsors and Honorary Coaches
The Arrix Family - Unified Basketball
Mike and Jennifer Elmore - Athletics
The Raza Family - Bowling
The Truwit Family - Swimming
Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of New York, Inc. and The Honickman Family - Tennis

Athlete Sponsors
ACI Dynamics
Adam's Hometown Market
Dean Cusano
Walter and Carol Davison
Enterprise Foundation
Franco American War Veterans Post 26
Hudson Valley Motorcycles
The Jaguar Club of Southern New England
Motorcars Incorporated
Turnpike Motors
Ulbrich Stainless Steels and Specialty Metals, Inc.

Charles and Helen Reichert
Joseph Cirillo Foundation
Knights of Columbus State Council
Rob and Lynn Stark


Alternating between summer and winter, the Special Olympics World Games are one of the world's largest sporting events, drawing as many, if not more, athletes than the Olympics.

Every two years since 1968, athletes from all nations have gatehred to celebrate sport and showcase the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. This prominent world stage brings attention to the Special Olympics movement and helps create positive - sometimes lifesaving - policy change for people with intellectual disabilities in countries around the world.

In 2006, the first USA Games were held in Ames, Iowa as an opportunity to showcase the talents of athletes from throughout the United States. The USA Games are now held every four years offering summer sports for thousands of athletes to participate in with their peers.


In order for an athlete or a partner to be eligible for selection to Team Connecticut, they must qualify under the guidelines of Article I., Section K Criteria for Advancement to Higher Level of Competition in the Special Olympics Sports Rules Book as found on As stated in Section K, No. 3.d.1, priority is given to first place finishers from all divisions of the sport/event.

Prior to the selection process, Special Olympics Connecticut requests a quota for either World or USA Games, based upon the sports offered at such competition, number of athletes competing in those sports at SOCT events and interchanging the sports offered over the years to provide increased opportunities.  Quota numbers are based upon budget constraints.

Athletes interested in applying for consideration of advancement to either World or USA Games must complete an Athlete/Partner Application Form to enter into a lottery system for selection to Team Connecticut.  Team sports for USA Games are selected through a try-out process.  All athletes applying for selection to Team Connecticut must have participated in their selected sport in the year prior to the actual application and lottery process.