From January 29 to February 5, more than 3,300 Special Olympics athletes from over 100 nations will come together in PyeongChang, Korea for one of the largest sporting events held in the world: the 2013 World Winter Games. Athletes of all ability levels will compete in eight Olympic-type sports including Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Snow Boarding, Snow Shoeing, Short Track Speed Skating, Figure Skating, Floor Hockey and Floor Ball demonstration.
Special Olympics New Jersey will be sending three athletes to Korea to compete in three different sports: Cross Country Skiing, Alpine Skiing and Snow Shoeing. Please meet our delegates:
Junichi Kusakawa, 27, from West Windsor – Cross Country Skiing
Junichi qualified for the 2013 World Winter Games after he took home the Gold in the 1K. He also took home Silver in the 500M, and he previously competed in Cross Country Skiing at the 2009 World Winter Games in Idaho. Junichi also competes in Bowling at the area and state level.
Maureen Larson, 24, from Sea Isle City – Alpine Skiing
Maureen qualified for the 2013 World Winter Games after she took home the Gold in both Intermediate Slalom and Intermediate Super G at the SONJ 2012 Winter Games. She also competes in Track & Field (800M, 1500M, 4×100 and 4×400) and Cycling (10K and 5K). Maureen had previously competed in Track & Field at the 2003 World Summer Games in Ireland.
Becky Scheick, 23, from Ewing – Snow Shoeing
Becky qualified for the 2013 World Winter Games after she took home Gold in both the 100M and 200M at the SONJ 2012 Winter Games. She also competes in Aquatics (50M Backstroke, 50M Freestyle, 4×25 Medley Relay, 4×40 Free Relay & 4×50 Medley Relay), Bowling and Soccer. Becky had previously competed in the 2009 World Winter Games in Idaho in Cross Country Skiing, before switching to Snowshoeing in 2012.
“We are extremely proud of the individuals chosen to represent New Jersey,” said Marc Edenzon, president of Special Olympics New Jersey. “World Games is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these athletes to transcend the boundaries of geography, nationality, and culture and come together in the thrill of true athletic competition.”
In the coming weeks, watch this blog for profiles of each of these three athletes.
LEARN MORE about the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games.