Winston-Salem Police Officer Will Represent in International Torch Run Final Leg
Raleigh, NC — Special Olympics North Carolina is proud to announce that four athletes and six coaches from North Carolina have been named to Special Olympics Team USA. The 491 member delegation will represent the United States at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, being held July 25- August 2, 2015, in Los Angeles, California.
Special Olympics NC Athletes:
Kathleen Degnan (Mecklenburg County) – Tennis
Degnan, 21, of Charlotte, has been involved in Special Olympics for six years and has also competed in aquatics, basketball, tennis and volleyball. Degnan was on a Unified volleyball team which was selected to go to the USA Open Nationals in 2012 in Utah. Degnan’s hobbies include playing sports, dancing (especially songs by her favorite artist, Taylor Swift!), and staying connected with her friends on Facebook.
Allison Douglas (Davidson County) – Equestrian
Douglas, 25, of Thomasville, has been participating in Special Olympics for seven years. She grew up on a horse farm and has been riding since she was 3 years old. Douglas has won numerous gold medals in Special Olympics equestrian competitions. She is a 2008 high school graduate, and volunteers regularly at school and at her family’s business. Her other hobbies besides riding include watching movies, dancing and bowling. Her favorite celebrities include Carrie Underwood, Johnny Depp, George Strait and Rascal Flatts.
Starr Kluttz (Cabarrus County) – Aquatics
Kluttz, 51, of Concord, credits Special Olympics with teaching her to become a more independent, outgoing, well-rounded and cooperative person. Kluttz competes in bocce and aquatics. Breaststroke used to be her most feared stroke to swim but in recent years she’s improved so much it is now her best event. Kluttz enjoys playing on the computer in her free time. She is employed by McDonald’s and is very proud to have obtained her driver’s license.
Randy Rogers (Guilford/Greensboro) – Golf
Rogers, 42, of Colfax, was introduced to Special Olympics as a student in school. He is legally blind, so he and his caddy work together to identify where his golf ball lands on the course. His dad has been a golf coach and caddy for many years. Apart from his athletic training, Rogers’ hobbies include listening to music and reading. His favorite sports figure is PGA golfer Phil Mickelson. Rogers also competed at the 1991 Special Olympics World Games where he won a gold medal in gymnastics.
Special Olympics NC Volunteers
North Carolina will be represented by the following coaches, volunteer officials, and sport managers at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games:
Alana Marie Brahler of Winston-Salem – Golf Technical Delegate; Marrisa Brzescinski of Mocksville – Equestrian Head Coach; Thorton Burnette of Raleigh – Aquatics Official; William Cheek of Raleigh – Basketball Official; Amy Clark of Charlotte – Aquatics Coach; Chuck Dellinger of Indian Trail – Bowling Coach; Elijah Frazier of Elm City – Powerlifting Official; Richard Frazier of Elm City – Powerlifting Technical Delegate; Jim Greenlees of Charlotte – Badminton Official; Cathy Hansen of Sherrill’s Ford – Equestrian Coach; Lauren Harkey of Banner Elk –Tennis Support Staff; Brenda Herbert of Asheboro – Rollerskating Official; James Hollis of Hillsborough – Powerlifting Official; Kristine Hughes (SONC athlete) of Cary – Volleyball Official; Rick Laskey of Jacksonville – Volleyball Official; Donna Mooneyham of Oak Island – Aquatics Coach; Chris Pearce of Timberlake – Powerlifting Official; Keron Poteat of Deep Gap – Tennis Coach; Debra Potenberg of Cedar Point – Bocce Official; Marcus Powers of High Point – Rollerskating Official; James Price of Thomasville – Bocce Support Staff ; Marsha Smith of Adylett – Bocce Official; Dr. Tim Taft of Chapel Hill – Team USA Medical Director; Tony Wayne of Cary – Athletics Technical Delegate; Brian Webb of Kernersville – Volleyball Official and Tony Williams of Randleman – Roller SkatingTechnical Delegate.
Officer Albert “Al” Negron of the Winston-Salem Police Department was selected as the North Carolina Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg Runner. Officer Negron is a 12 year veteran of the Winston-Salem Police Department and has been a dedicated Torch Run officer for seven years.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest grass-roots fundraising and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics in the world. Every two years, law enforcement officers and athletes representing their state or nation’s Torch Run program comprise a “Final Leg Team” that runs a final leg route that carries the Special Olympics “Flame of Hope” into Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics World Games. In 2015, the Torch Run Final Leg sponsored by Bank of America will heighten awareness and take the message of Special Olympics to every corner of California. Torch Run officers and 10 Special Olympics athletes from around the world will serve as Guardians of the Flame from July 10 through July 27 and promote inclusion, ability and acceptance along the way.
To download photos of Team USA – North Carolina members and/or Officer Negron, visit the 2015 World Games Team USA-NC Delegation album on the Special Olympics NC Flickr page.
Team USA will include 304 athletes and 43 Unified Partners competing in 17 sports, 102 volunteer coaches, and 42 volunteer sports and management team members, representing all fifty states and the District of Columbia. The team also includes several Special Olympics Unified Sports® teams, where people with and without intellectual disabilities compete together, as teammates.
Every two years, the world transcends the boundaries of geography, nationality, political philosophy, gender, age, culture and religion to come together for Special Olympics World Games. Alternating between summer and winter Games, this event is the flagship event of the Special Olympics movement, which promotes equality, tolerance and acceptance through the power and joy of sport. This prominent world stage brings attention to the Special Olympics movement and the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. Currently, more than 4.4 million Special Olympics athletes train and compete year-round in 170 nations across the globe.
“We are very excited for the four athletes, the coaches and volunteers who will represent NC at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games,’ said Fishburne. “This will be a memorable event for them all and I know they will make us all very proud with their performances!”
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these athletes to demonstrate their athletic abilities, competing at the highest level on the world stage, and to have life and cultural experiences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” said Chris Hahn, Head of Delegation for Special Olympics Team USA. Hahn added, “I encourage every American to cheer on these inspiring athletes, to share in their triumphs and to take pride in knowing that they will represent our country with excellence and honor.”
Visit www.specialolympicsteamusa.org to meet the team and learn more.
More than 7,000 athletes from 177 nations will compete in 25 Olympic-type sports at the 2015 World Games, which marks the 14th Special Olympics World Summer Games. Competition will be held in aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, bocce, bowling, cycling, equestrian, golf, gymnastics, judo, kayaking, half marathon, open water swim, power lifting, roller skating, sailing, softball, soccer, table tennis, team handball, tennis, triathlon and volleyball.
With an anticipated 30,000 volunteers and 500,000 spectators, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. ESPN is the official broadcast partner of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, allowing an unprecedented amount of viewers around the world to be introduced to the power of Special Olympics. To learn more, visit www.LA2015.org
Official sponsors for Special Olympics Team USA include Finish Line, Champion, The Coca-Cola Company, Tommie Copper, Midwest Trophy Manufacturing, KPMG – Golf team sponsor, Mattel – Cycling team sponsor and Speedo USA – Swimming team official supplier.
To learn more about Special Olympics Team USA and to follow the team to the World Games, visit www.specialolympicsteamusa.org, follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SOTeamUSA, Twitter @SOTeamUSA, Instagram: SOTeamUSA
About Special Olympic 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. Visit Special Olympics North Carolina at www.specialolympicsnc.com. Engage with us on http://twitter.com/sonc_beafan; http://www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsNC and http://www.youtube.com/BeAFanSONC.