Two Local Athletes to represent NC at Special Olympics National Games
By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Two athletes with the Qualla Boundary Special Olympics program will be representing the state of North Carolina at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Summer Games being held in Lincoln, Neb. July 18-23. Gil Biello and Blair Sinnen, both EBCI tribal members, will compete in the Bowling competitions and represent Team NC.
“The Qualla Boundary program is honored and excited to have two athletes representing our local program and the EBCI as part of Team NC,” said Lana Lambert, Qualla Boundary Special Olympic program coordinator. “These two athletes excelled at state level competition and now have the opportunity to participate in a national level event. These games will provide Gil and Blair the chance to meet and compete with athletes from around the country.”
Team NC will assemble at the North Carolina Executive Mansion in Raleigh for a reception, hosted by Gov. Bev Perdue and First Gentleman Robert W. Eaves, on Friday, July 16. The 50-member Team NC will fly to Lincoln on Saturday and the competition starts Sunday, July 18.
A special send-off for the two Qualla Boundary athletes is being planned in Cherokee at the Tribal Council House on Thursday, July 15 at 1:10pm.
The National Games will include over 3,000 athletes from 50 states and over 1,000 coaches and 8,000 volunteers according to information from the Special Olympics. The competitions include: athletics, aquatics, basketball, bocce, bowling, flag football, golf, gymnastics, powerlifting, softball, soccer, tennis, and volleyball.
The games will be centered on the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
“Special Olympics Team NC represents a diverse group of athletes and coaches from across the state,” said Keith L. Fishburne, president and CEO of Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC). “We know they will do an excellent job representing our state. This will be a memorable experience for everyone.”
Team NC is sponsored this year by The Young Agents Committee of the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina. The group committed to raise $50,000 to fund the team’s transportation, housing, uniforms and all other costs associated with the games.
“The Young Agents are honored to support Special Olympics Team NC as they prepare to compete at the national level,” said David Essic, chairman of Young Agents Community Initiatives. “We know they will make our state proud and look forward to seeing outstanding accomplishments in Nebraska.”