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Local Special Olympics New York Athletes Surprised with News Of USA Games Selection

Sports and Recreation

May 27, 2021


Kathleen, Jonathan, Sabrina, Thomas, and Ben to Represent New York in Orlando Next June

Albany, NY -- Special Olympics New York surprised five local athletes May 26 and 27, 2021 with the news that they’ve been selected to compete in the 2022 USA Games, which will be held at Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL.

The Special Olympics New York USA Games delegation will include 121 athletes and coaches in 13 sports: Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Equestrian, Golf, Gymnastics, Powerlifting, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Triathlon, and Track & Field. More than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean will compete.

“We are thrilled for all of our athletes headed to Orlando next year,” said Ceylane Meyers-Ruff, chair of the Special Olympics NY Board of Directors. “We know they will do an outstanding job representing their home state, and we know that their fans across New York will join us in supporting them and cheering them on from afar.”

“We are so proud of Kathleen, Jonathan, Sabrina, Thomas, Ben, and every downstate athlete representing New York at USA Games,” said Stacey Hengsterman, President and CEO of Special Olympics NY. “These are our champions. They are the best of the best in their sports and they continue to inspire so many to accept all people as they are. The road to Orlando begins now!”

Kathleen Maggi, 42, of Flushing, NY has been a Special Olympics New York athlete for 27 years. Though swimming is her favorite sport, she also competes in bocce and floor hockey and has previously competed in basketball, track & field, tennis and cross country skiing. Kathleen is an athlete leader within the statewide organization and a health messenger for Special Olympics International. She has earned hundreds of medal over the years. She is most proud of being the first female athlete to win the gold in the 500 meter/20 lap backstroke at State Games. This will be Kathleen’s first USA Games.

Jonathan Beiner, 24, of Queens, NY has been a Special Olympics New York athlete for 10 years. In addition to bocce, Jonathan competes in swimming, softball, floor hockey, bowling and equestrian. He is an athlete leader and health messenger who welcomes every challenge and enjoys turning it into an opportunity for success. This will be Jonathan’s first USA Games.

Sabrina Walker, 48, of Amityville, NY has been a Special Olympics New York athlete for more than 20 years and has previously earned a gold medal for tennis at World Games Aspen in 2011. Sabrina also competes in equestrian for Special Olympics New York and has served as a Global Messenger, sharing her story with those who support inclusion for people with disabilities.

Thomas Mensche, 25, of Suffolk County has been a Special Olympics New York swimmer for more than 10 years. This will be his first USA Games.

Ben Beavers, 48, of Amityville, NY has been a Special Olympics New York athlete for more than 30 years. He is an avid runner who once ran the NYC marathon in memory of his mom. Ben was one of the first athletes to serve on the Athlete Leadership Council. He also competes in basketball and floor hockey with Special Olympics New York. Ben works at FragranceNet in Deer Park and previously competed in World Games China in 2007.

About USA Games
The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games is scheduled for June 5-12, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. Jersey Mike’s Subs is the Presenting Partner and Walt Disney World Resort is host. During this magical week, more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean will travel to Florida to unite in one of the country’s most cherished sporting events. The USA Games is hosted once every four years and showcases 20 Olympic-style team and individual sports and 30 events throughout the week including forums and VIP receptions. Learn more at: www.2022usagames.org.

About Special Olympics New York
Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 68,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with about 250 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports, where students with and without disabilities compete as teammates. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. The organization has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from www.GuideStar.com, making it one of the most trusted charities in the business nationally. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit www.specialolympicsNY.org.