USGTF Member Church Coaches at U.S. Special Olympics

During the week of June 14-21, I was privileged to accompany three golfers of Team Oregon to the USA Games in Princeton, New Jersey. Team Oregon was a 40-member team of golfers, swimmers, track/field athletes, bocce rollers, bowlers, power lifters, and a Unified basketball team. All athletes competed well and did their best, garnering many medals and ribbons, but in the truer sense of the games, followed our athletes’ oath – “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt!” Friendship and inclusion was the main focus of the games.

Team Oregon was housed on the campus of Rider University and competed at many venues in the area, including Princeton University. Mercer Oaks was the venue for the golf competition. They treated us very well and have an excellent facility. Team Oregon golfers finished with one gold, one silver, and one fifth-place ribbon. We were also treated to a Trenton Thunder baseball game and a dinner cruise aboard the Cornucopia Majesty, which took us down the Hudson River for views of Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and the New York skyline.

What impressed me the most during this adventure was the bonding – we left Oregon as a team of 40 athletes/coaches and then returned as a family with one incredible journey to tell of.  Many of these same athletes will now be eligible to compete for Team USA next summer in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games being held in Los Angeles. Many of us as coaches will be applying for a chance to participate with these athletes…wish us luck!

By Pat Church, USGTF Level IV Member



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