We are proud to report that SEASPAR’s 19 athletes who competed at the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games earned a total of 38 medals, including 14 gold, at the competition held at Illinois State University June 10-12. No one came home empty-handed!
The Summer Games is the largest of the more than 175 Special Olympics competitions held throughout Illinois each year, and is the final state competition for Aquatics, Athletics (track and field), Bocce, Gymnastics, Powerlifting, and Soccer. Approximately 4,000 athletes competed at the event at the Illinois State University campus. SEASPAR trained athletes in all six sports of the competition.
SEASPAR’s four Powerlifting athletes all earned multiple medals. Ryan Joseph of Downers Grove swept the competition, taking first place in his division in the Bench Press, Deadlift, and Combination events. Emily Lundvall of Westmont also earned gold in both Bench Press and Deadlift, and silver in the Combination event. Christopher Loy of Downers Grove took gold in the Combination event and silver in Deadlift, while Ryan Burke of Western Springs earned bronze in both Bench Press and Deadlift.
The three Artistic Gymnastics competitors trained by SEASPAR also earned multiple medals. Anna Cavallo of Downers Grove took gold in the All Around Competition, as well as the Balance Beam and Floor Exercise events. Cavallo also earned silver in the Uneven Bars event. Kari Winter, also of Downers Grove, took gold in the Balance Beam and Floor Exercise events. Bridget Brown of Darien earned a silver medal in the Uneven Bars event, and bronze in the All Around Competition and Vault event.
Six athletes represented SEASPAR in Aquatics events. Bryal Peterson of Clarendon Hills earned two gold medals in the 50M Freestyle and 50M Backstroke events. Sam Smetko of La Grange Park also earned gold in the 50M Backstroke event. Silver medals were earned by Mark Ploskonka of Darien in the 50M Freestyle and in the 4X100M Freestyle Relay along with teammates Smetko, William Porch of Westmont, and Chris Tegeler of Darien. Tegeler and Ploskonka also earned bronze medals in the 50M Backstroke event. Porch earned a bronze medal in the 50M Freestyle event, and Adam Sikora of Lisle earned a bronze medal in the 25M breaststroke event.
Two SEASPAR athletes participated in the Soccer competition on the cooperative team representing SEASPAR and the Lily Cache Special Recreation Association, which serves the Bolingbrook and Plainfield Park Districts. Nate Church of La Grange and Randy Naberhaus of Woodridge earned silver medals with their teammates.
SEASPAR was represented by two competitors in Athletics (track and field) events. Audrey Postek and JoAnn Adamski, both of Downers Grove, earned bronze medals in the 3000M Run and Running Long Jump events, respectively.
Betsie Egenes of Clarendon Hills and Kristen McInerney of Westmont teamed up to represent SEASPAR in the Bocce Traditional Doubles event, earning bronze medals.
Please join us in congratulating these athletes on their hard work and well-deserved recognition! View more photos from the Summer Games on Flickr.