Hawaii Mom Blog: Hawaii Athletes Among Those Representing USA in 2019 Special Olympics World Games

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January 4, 2019

Hawaii Athletes Among Those Representing USA in 2019 Special Olympics World Games

Special Olympics Hawaii announced today that local track & field athletes Khiry “Rainie Jade” Thompson and Tyler Morimoto will represent the aloha state and the USA at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games, March 14-21, 2019, in Abu Dhabi. The international Special Olympics event will bring together 176 nations from around the globe for a week of friendly, international competition in 24 olympic-style sports.

"Representing Hawaii and our country is an outstanding honor for both Rainie and Tyler, and we’re excited to have them showcase Hawaii on a global platform. It’s always a pleasure to see our athletes succeed and to see firsthand their dedication and hard work paying off," said Dan Epstein, Special Olympics Hawaii COO. “We hope that the community will join us in supporting them--either by making a tax-deductible donation or by donating their Hawaiian Miles--to help make their dream of competing for gold a reality.”

Thompson and Morimoto will compete with the USA track & field team as part of a delegation of 217 athletes and 63 coaches that will make up Special Olympics USA. The national team will compete in 17 sports, including both individual and team formats, as well as Special Olympics Unified sports.

Inspired by Olympic runners Flow Jo and Usain Bolt, Khiry “Rainie Jade” Thompson,  joined Special Olympics Hawaii’s Honolulu Ducks in 2013 and trains year-round in track & field. The Kaneohe native also participates in Special Olympics Hawaii’s Toastmasters program which does public speaking events for Special Olympics Hawaii.

Tyler Morimoto attends Roosevelt High School and has been a Special Olympics Hawaii athlete since 2010. Morimoto competes in Unified basketball, football, soccer, bowling, softball, track and field, and also trained with his high school cross country team. He actively volunteers with Special Olympics Hawaii, participating in events like Cop on Top and Over the Edge. Help Tyler get to the games by donating here.

Also selected to represent the USA and Hawaii is Honolulu Police Department officer Rob Steiner who has been selected as the Hawaii Law Enforcement Officer. Steiner will join 87 other Law Enforcement Torch Runners who will escort the Flame of Hope to signify the start of the World Games. Help Rob get to the games by donating here.

Held every two years, the Special Olympics World Games is a flagship Special Olympics event which promotes inclusion, equality, and acceptance around the globe. This year’s competition is expected to be the largest Special Olympics World Games in history, with an estimated 7,500 athletes from 176 nations competing in athletics, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, bocce, bowling, cycling, equestrian, football, golf, gymnastics--artistic, gymnastics--rhythmic, handball, judo, kayaking, open water swimming, powerlifting, roller skating, sailing, swimming, table tennis, tennis, triathlon, and volleyball.

The event will be broadcast around the world by ESPN’s global television networks and digital media. As the official broadcast partner of Special Olympics, ESPN’s television coverage will be carried across its networks in the US as well as streamed through WatchESPN and the ESPN App.

For more information on Special Olympics USA and Special Olympics Hawaii, please contact 808-943-8808 or visit www.sohawaii.org.

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