SEASPAR golfers earned nine medals at the Special Olympics Outdoor Sports Festival in Decatur September 12-13.
The Special Olympics Outdoor Sports Festival is one of nine state sports competitions, and the final competition for those participating in softball, tee-ball, and golf. Over 600 athletes competed at the event at the Rotary Park and Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur.
Two SEASPAR golfers competed in the event’s golf skills competition, which assesses performance in short putt, long putt, chip shot, pitch shot, bunker shot, iron shot, and wood shot. Natalie Pernia of Downers Grove earned a silver medal despite this being her first year in competition. Brian Meany, also of Downers Grove, earned a bronze medal and is also a first-time competitor.
Seven SEASPAR golfers competed in the event’s traditional nine-hole golf competition. Four earned gold medals: JoAnn Adamski, Jeff Osowski, and Mark Maloney of Downers Grove, and James Sikes of Western Springs. Three SEASPAR golfers earned silver medals in the nine-hole golf competition: Kevin Mikan and Sam Smetko of La Grange Park, and Michele Forzley of Westmont.
Jeff Osowski and Michele Forzley have competed in the Outdoor Sports Festival the last three years and finished in the top three of their divisions each year. Osowski and Kevin Mikan are consistently in the top ten of male Special Olympics golfers in Illinois and had the second and third best overall performances of the nine-hole golfers in this competition. In 2014, Osowski represented Team Illinois at the USA Games in New Jersey in nine-hole golf, finishing third in the country.
Sam Smetko was chosen to be a torch bearer at the Outdoor Sports Festival’s opening ceremonies.
SEASPAR trains athletes for Special Olympics competitions in golf, aquatics, bowling, volleyball, basketball, tennis, softball, soccer, floor hockey, athletics (track and field), powerlifting, artistic gymnastics, bocce, skiing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. SEASPAR’s athletes compete in Special Olympics events throughout the year.