Every two years, thousands of Special Olympics athletes from six continents come together to showcase their athletic skills and bring the spirit of the Special Olympics organization to life. The Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 were held June 17-25!
Alternating between Summer and Winter Games, the Special Olympics World Games feature intense athletic competition and inspiring performances from talented Special Olympics athletes from across the globe.
Special Olympics North Carolina uses the advancement criteria set forth by Special Olympics, Inc. to select the athletes who will be a part of Special Olympics USA. Gold medal winners from all ability level divisions are put into a random drawing in order to be selected for participation in the Games.
Meet the Special Olympics USA delegates from North Carolina
Philip Blount of Charlotte, North Carolina, has been actively involved with Special Olympics for 15 years, training and competing in athletics, basketball and Unified flag football. Philip will represent Special Olympics USA in athletics. Special Olympics has encouraged Philip to improve his communication skills, sportsmanship and healthy living habits.
Erin Cagle of Raleigh has competed in Special Olympics since 2008 in Alpine skiing, gymnastics and tennis. She will represent Special Olympics USA in artistic gymnastics. Special Olympics has improved Erin’s self-confidence, as she takes great pride in her accomplishments and independence.
Jacob “Jake” Harkey of Banner Elk, North Carolina, has served as a Special Olympics coach for 17 years. He has experience coaching Special Olympics athletes in Alpine skiing, athletics, basketball, cycling, soccer and tennis. He will represent Special Olympics USA as head cycling coach.
James Price of Trinity, North Carolina, has coached Special Olympics athletes for 18 years. He will serve as head bocce coach for Special Olympics USA in the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.
Final Leg Representatives
In addition to the Special Olympics USA delegates, two individuals were selected by the Law Enforcement Torch Run International Executive Council and represented the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics North Carolina in the Final Leg leading up to the Opening Ceremony of Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023. Congratulations to Ryan Jackson of Charlotte and Dustin Edmondson of Greensboro! See photos from their experience in Berlin.
Other North Carolina Representatives
Special Olympics, officials, sport development team members and staff from North Carolina attended the World Games in various roles.
The following individuals will represent Special Olympics USA as part of the marketing and communications team:
- Katie McGhee, Special Olympics NC staff
- Madeline Safrit, Special Olympics NC staff
- James Greenlees: Badminton
- Anthony Smith: Bocce
- Charlotte Smith: Bocce
- Marsha Downing Smith: Bocce
- Paul Finks: Bocce
- Scott Boucher: Bocce
- Chuck Dellinger: Bowling
- Elijah Frazier: Powerlifting
- Eynde Frazier: Powerlifting
- James Hollis: Powerlifting
- Richard Laskey: Volleyball
- Richard Frazier: Powerlifting
- Alana Brahler: Golf
- Deb Pontenberg: Bocce
- Kristine Hughes (Assistant): Volleyball
Special Olympics USA Social Media
- North Carolinians shine at 2019 World Games: Congratulations to the four North Carolina athletes who competed at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games! Read more about their trip, view photos and check out results.
- Additional coverage of NC World Games athletes: WRAL: Apex man wins two gold medals at World Games