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2019 Annual Report

by Dylan Eichelberger.

Click here to read more about Special Olympics Illinois’ performance in 2019 as an organization.

Annual Reports

by Dave.

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9th Annual NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Basketball All-Star Game

by Bridget LeMaire.

By Daniel Smrokowski, Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger & Special Olympics Illinois Athlete Leader

From L to R: Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo, Nate Wade (SOCO), Carrie Nykiel (SOIL) and Horace Grant

On Friday, February 14, I had an opportunity to be an athlete reporter at the 9th annual NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Basketball Game at NBA All-Star 2020 in Chicago. I attended this event, along with my SSIGM mentor & Chief Marketing Officer from Special Olympics Illinois (SOILL) Chris Winston and two other marketing & communications staff from SO Illinois, Alex & Bridget. During the Unified game, we sat courtside to watch the exciting game. I was honored and grateful to attend this star-studded sporting event, especially since basketball is one of my favorite sports in Special Olympics to compete in.

Here I am posing with my SOILL colleagues. From L to R: Chris, Alex and Bridget.

This Special Olympics Unified Game took place at the Wintrust Arena on Chicago’s south side during NBA All-Star Week, right before the Celebrity Game. In case you missed the thrilling #NBAAllStar2020 Unified game in the Windy City, the action was streamed live on the NBA’s Facebook page.

We had ten fellow Special Olympics athletes from across our Special Olympics North America Region, one athlete from Special Olympics Belgium (SO Europe-Eurasia Region), and one athlete from Special Olympics South Korea (Special Olympics East Asia Region). The teams were divided into two — the East Team (Home) and the West Team (Away). Both teams consisted of five Special Olympics athletes per team and celebrity Unified partners. Each team also had volunteer celebrity coaches. The number “24” was branded on the upper left breast of every athlete’s uniform in honor of the late Kobe Bryant, former L.A. Lakers professional athlete.

Sean Annan from SO British Columbia takes on Injae Kim from SO Korea.

Sean Annan, fellow Special Olympics athlete, traveled from his home which is 20 miles from Vancouver, Canada. Sean regularly competes with his team from Special Olympics British Columbia in his Langley program. In addition to basketball, Sean competes in golf. He also competes on a regular softball team.

“It’s a once-in-a-life-time [experience],” said Sean in a post-game interview near the locker rooms. “It’s really special meeting new people from different places [and] I’m having fun, that’s what it’s all about.”

Watch my full postgame interview with Sean on SCTV, the digital television platform on Special Chronicles LIVE: https://youtu.be/iUbVDrZqka0

Post-game interview with hometown hero Carrie Nykiel.

Directly from our home state of Special Olympics Illinois, USA, fellow Special Olympics athlete Carrie Nykiel didn’t have to travel far as she competes right in the Chicago area. Carrie competes in mostly every sport including volleyball, softball, and powerlifting.

“It was an amazing, great experience, [and] first time doing it,” said Carrie during a postgame interview after an excellent star-studded Unified basketball game during the NBA All-Star 2020.

Watch the full postgame interview I hosted with Carrie LIVE from the Wintrust Arena on Special Chronicles LIVE and airing on SCTV: https://youtu.be/jGuB0lIxQeo

Posing for a pic with singer/songwriter Andy Grammer!

For those who have attended any of our many Special Olympics events, our movement is driven by more than 1.1 million volunteers donating their time and expertise. That’s true for Andy Grammer, triple-platinum singer/songwriter, who stepped up this year as a volunteer coach for the 2020 NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Basketball game.

Moments after the game, I had an opportunity to ask Andy about his experiences serving as a coach for this Special Olympics Unified Sports event.

“It’s the way it makes your heart feel,” said Andy about what the Inclusion Revolution means to him. “This is the best place to be.”

Watch the full postgame interview I hosted with Andy Grammer LIVE from Chicago on Special Chronicles LIVE — airing on SCTV and on SpecialOlympics.orghttps://youtu.be/bKOqlIszgOE

In memory of the late Kobe Bryant from the Los Angeles Lakers NBA team who had passed away a few weeks prior to this year’s NBA All-Star Week, our Special Olympics Unified Game concluded in an exciting moment that paid tribute to Kobe.

Getting Chris Carter’s reactions to his game-winning steal and jump shot!

Christopher Carter, fellow Special Olympics athlete, traveled from Special Olympics Virginia, USA. Chris’ parents coach for Special Olympics and he says his family lives and breathes basketball. Pointing at the number “24” on his yellow-colored uniform, Chris said his favorite part of the game was a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant.

The score went back and forth in the fourth quarter and with less than 30 seconds left, Chris’ team was down three. After Unified partner Horace Grant scored to pull his team within one, Chris stole the inbounds pass and hit a baseline jump shot with 11 seconds left to seal the victory for his team.

“If it wasn’t for this number,” said Chris. “The game winning shot, of course, the gaming winning shot” was Chris’ favorite part of this year’s Special Olympics Unified Basketball Game during the NBA All-Star Week.

Watch the full postgame interview I hosted with Chris Carter moments after his winning shot. Now Available to watch on Special Chronicles LIVE, airing on SCTV the Special Chronicles digital television platform, SCTV: https://youtu.be/ff3dI5onvtk

I have to agree that this inclusion moment was my favorite part, too. Amongst many celebrities, we were able to bring our Inclusion Revolution movement to the NBA and the world of professional sporting events. This is the way to be fully included. This is how we can truly live in a Unified world.

Whether we are playing sports or interviewing fellow athletes & celebrities off the court, we all win when we #ChooseToInclude and join the Inclusion Revolution.

Sign the Inclusion Pledge at: JoinTheRevolution.org

Congratulations to all on competing in a thrilling Unified game!

Be an Ambassador

by Jamie Scovel.

As our Special Olympics Illinois Celebrity Soccer Ambassador, you can be the voice for 23,000+ athletes across the state. How can you help? The possibilities are #SOLimitless!

Getting Started

  • Brandt’s Bio
  • Meet the Team
  • Attend a Competition or Event
  • Social Media Announcement & Engagement
  • Experience Packages
  • Video PSA

Events

Resources

Resources

by Dave.

We have a variety of materials available to make your Special Olympics experience better. Explore the categories below for information and documents – we’ll be adding more as needed.

About Us
  1. 2019 SOILL Fact Sheet
  2. By The Numbers Fact Sheet
  3. SOILL History – Backgrounder
  4. SOILL History – Milestones
  5. Language Guidelines
  6. Annual Reports / Financial 990s
  7. Region Map
  8. 2019 Board Roster
  9. 2019 Foundation Board Roster
Athletes
  1. Application For Participation Instructions
  2. Eligibility To Participate
  3. English Med App-20
  4. Spanish Med App-20
  5. Participation By Individuals With Down Syndrome
  6. Athlete Partner Code of Conduct
Athlete Leadership Programs (ALPs)
  1. ALPs Fact Sheet
  2. Global Messenger Flyer
  3. ALPs Interest Form
  4. Global Messenger Request Form
Coach Sports Resources & Rules
  1. 2020 Policies and Procedures
  2. Coaches Training Page
  3. Sports Icons
  4. Athlete Centered Coaching Guide
  5. Special Olympics Sports Sciences
  6. Class A Volunteer Registration
  7. English Med App-20
  8. Spanish Med App-20
  9. Agency Return to Activities Information
Families
  1. Fans Brochure
  2. Family Credential Order Form
Rhythmic Gymnastics Routines & Videos 2016-2023

Click Here to View Rhythmic Gymnastics Routines

Artistic Gymnastics Routines & Videos 2019-2027
Volunteers
  1. Volunteer Code of Conduct
  2. Volunteer Screening Policy
  3. Volunteer Athlete Dating Policy
Young Athletes
  1. Young Athletes Fact Sheet
  2. Transition One Pager
  3. Young Athlete Registration Form – English
  4. Young Athlete Registration Form – Spanish
  5. Brochure – English
  6. Brochure – Spanish
  7. Activity Guide – English
  8. Activity Guide – Spanish
  9. Young Athletes Site Expectations
Additional Resources

Recycling Program

20 Incredible Colleges for Special Needs Students

The Power of Special Olympics Project Unify – Special Education Guide

Discover Accessible Fitness: A Wheelchair User’s Guide for Using Fitness Equipment

HALO at Heartland Community College Learning Opportunities Program

Facts About Down Syndrome

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