Two Maui Students Selected for Special Olympics USA Games
Special Olympics athletes from Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, Maui and the Hawaiʻi Island are training to represent Hawai’i at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games taking place July 1- 6, 2018, in Seattle, WA.
The 22 representatives, including 20 athletes and two Unified Champion School students, are preparing for the event, joining more than 4,000 Special Olympics athletes and coaches from across the country to compete in soccer, track and field, and basketball.
On Maui, Britney Bautista and Sidney Tanaka of Maui High School will be participating in the Youth Leadership Experience. They were selected from 3,400 participants statewide.
“Special Olympics Hawai’i is excited to send one of our largest contingencies of island athletes to represent our state at the USA Games. These athletes and coaches work so hard throughout the year and it’s thrilling to see their commitment pay off,” said Nancy Bottelo, Special Olympics Hawaiʻi president and CEO.
Those representing Special Olympics Hawai‘i include:
Oʻahu “Terminators” Soccer Team
· Kyle Burkhart
· Kyson Cadiam
· DeSean DesJardins
· Sol Ray Duncan
· Nicole Kelly
· Renee Manfredi
· Brandon Nakata
· Rell Romero
Coaches: Danny Vasconcellos, Jr and Katherine Eum
Kauaʻi Track & Field Team
· Kobe Iglesia
· Archie Lanning
· Divine Navalta
· Billie Jean Waiwaiole
Coach: Tamarine Carvalho
Maui High School (participating in Youth Leadership Experience)
· Britney Bautista
· Sidney Tanaka
Hawaiʻi Island Honokaʻa Basketball Team
· Gilbert Acosta
· Whitney Alameida
· Bernaldo Cabulizan
· Sean Conley
· John Joseph DeHerrera
· Isaiah De Luz
· Michael Mitts
· Greg Villafuerte Jr.
Coaches: Duane De Luz and Sheila De Luz
Also representing Hawai’i at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games is Officer Ty Ah Nee with the Honolulu Police Department. He will join an elite group of individuals who will serve as the “Guardians of the Flame” and escort the Special Olympics Flame of Hope on a journey across Washington state. Since the first Special Olympics USA Games in 2006, members of law enforcement and Special Olympics athletes from across the United States have carried the Flame of Hope in the LETR Final Leg to usher the start of the national competition.
The cost to send one individual to the USA Games is more than $1,900. Special Olympics Hawai‘i is accepting tax-deductible donations to defray expenses at www.sohawaii.org and has also launched a campaign asking supporters to donate their HawaiianMiles to Special Olympics Hawai‘i to help reduce the cost of transportation.
Bottelo said, “The cost to cover transportation and accommodation will be significant. We are asking the community to help our athletes realize their dreams to compete on a national level by making a tax-deductible donation.”
The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games shares the mission of Special Olympics by highlighting the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities, while promoting acceptance and inclusion through sports. Athletes will compete in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports before tens of thousands of spectators and volunteers.