Posted by: sonewjersey | May 18, 2011

World Games Spotlight: Athletics

Our seven New Jersey athletes are just a month away from traveling to Athens, Greece for the World Games!  Meet two more New Jersey delegates to Team USA:
Athletics: Mark Halpern and Christina Vassar

Mark Halpern

Mark Halpern, 29, lives in Fair Lawn, NJ.  He has been involved with Special Olympics for 19 years, competing not only in Athletics, but also in Basketball, Bowling, and Volleyball.

About going to Athens, Mark says, “Competing at the World Games is something special to me.  It will be exciting to be a part of Team USA competing in the sport of athletics.  It is an achievement that I am very proud of – just like graduating from high school and participating at the National Games.  I am looking forward to meeting athletes from all over the world!”

Mark, a high school graduate, is employed by Friendship House.  In his free time, he enjoys music, going to concerts and swimming.

Christina Vassar

Christina Vassar, 20, lives in Cape May, NJ and has been involved with Special Olympics for 11 years.  She earned a high school Varsity Letter in basketball and track & field.  Christina had the honor of lighting the cauldron last year at the 2010 Special Olympics New Jersey Summer Games.

Christina is proud to be part of Team USA, saying, “Getting the chance to compete at the World Games in Athens, Greece and representing Team USA is a great honor.  I will do my best to make Team USA proud.”

When she isn’t competing, Christina enjoys reading, music and photography.

Mark and Christina begin their journey in Baltimore, MD, where all the athletes on Team USA will convene for a celebratory send-off on June 19.  Upon arrival in Greece, Team USA athletes will spend four days in the host town of Isle of Rhodes where, through sporting, cultural and artistic events, they will have the opportunity to adapt to a new environment, experience Greek culture, enjoy the natural beauty and traditional cuisine, and train before the Games.

The World Games Opening Ceremony on June 25 will kick off a week of competition that draws to a close on July 4.  Athletes and coaches return to the United States on July 6.

Please help support New Jersey’s Team USA athletes by making a donation here:

Best of luck to Mark and Christina!


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