Special Olympics North Carolina athletes & Unified Partners excel at 2016 Special Olympics North America Golf Championship

Five Special Olympics North Carolina golf athletes and one Unified Partner competed in the 2016 Special Olympics Golf Championship Sept. 29 – Oct. 2 in Port St. Lucie, Florida, according to Keith L. Fishburne, president/CEO of Special Olympics North Carolina. Unified Partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities) compete alongside Special Olympics athletes through Special Olympics Unified Sports®. Unified teams are made up of people of similar age and ability.   

A field of more than 200 golfers from 19 programs across the United States and Canada competed in one of five levels of competition – individual skills (Level 1), nine and 18-hole alternate shot team play – athlete is paired with a partner without intellectual disabilities, (Levels 2 & 3), and nine and 18-hole individual stroke play (Levels 4 & 5).

Local Special Olympics North Carolina programs represented include: Cabarrus County, Mecklenburg County, New Hanover County and Orange County.

 The results of the 2016 Special Olympics North America Golf Championship are as follows:

  • Orange County: Bradley Barnett, Level 1 (Individual Skills)—Silver Medal
  • Orange County: Taras Scism, Level 1 (Individual Skills)—Bronze Medal
  • New Hanover County: Michael Mojica, Level 1 (Individual Skills)—Gold Medal
  • Cabarrus County: Tyler Davis and Chase Baldwin, Level 2 Alternate Shot Team Play—Gold Medal 

Others in the Special Olympics North Carolina golf delegation included: Orange County: Mike Despirito (Head of Delegation & Head Coach); Mecklenburg County Peter Cowick (Coach). Several family members also made the trip to support and cheer on the North Carolina Delegation. 

The 2016 Special Olympics North America Golf Championship was hosted by Special Olympics North America. The 2016 Special Olympics North America Golf Championship was supported by leading tournament sponsors The Coca-Cola Company, The PGA Club, USGA and PGA Tour.

About Special Olympics Golf

The Special Olympics golf program began in 1988 with the assistance of The PGA of America and USGA. Since then both associations contribute to the growth of the Program with grassroots training, rules education, tournament administration, and national program financial support. Currently, more than 23,000 Special Olympics North America Athletes participate in Golf Competition.

About Special Olympics North Carolina

Special Olympics North Carolina offers year-round sports training and competition for nearly 40,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. These athletes inspire greatness through their success and provide motivation to the thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide.  SONC offers Olympic-type competition in 19 sports on local and state levels as well as health and wellness initiatives to improve the health status and increase access to community health resources for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Youth become agents of change through Unified Champion Schools, an education and sports based program created by Special Olympics to build an inclusive environment among youth with and without intellectual disabilities as well as empower them to become youth leaders and create change in their community. Visit Special Olympics North Carolina at Engage with us on; and

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