Sport: Half-court basketball
Hometown: St. Michael, MN
Mia has been an athlete for over 14 years, beginning her Special Olympics career in Colorado. When she moved to Minnesota in 2012, she got involved with the St. Michael Stallions right away. “It has given me great opportunities to meet new people and to play lots of sports. My team is like family—everyone is kind and caring.” Mia currently participates in bowling, basketball and track and field.
Orlando will be Mia’s second USA Games appearance. She competed in track and field at the 2018 USA Games in Seattle. “I feel honored to be able to participate again. Seattle was such a great experience. I look forward to playing with my team, meeting other athletes and having fun.”
Mia and the rest of the squad will make history as being Team Minnesota’s first ever all-female half court basketball team to attend USA Games! They have already been working hard to stay in shape and practice their basketball skills for the big competition in June 2022.
Sport: Track & field (athlete coach)
Hometown: Red Wing, MN
James participates in alpine skiing as a Special Olympics Minnesota athlete. However, he has found that his real passion is coaching track and field.
“Coaching has given me greater strength and knowledge about who I am, as well as giving me a great deal of satisfaction seeing athletes develop both physically and socially.”
James has been an athlete coach for Red Wing Special Olympics for over 27 years in bowling, swimming and track. Attending the USA Games will be a first for James, and he’s very excited to be coaching track and field at the national level.
In his free time James is an avid runner, and he loves spending time with his family, taking photos and reading books. He also is involved with Red Wing High School as the volunteer general manager for their sports teams.
Hometown: St. Cloud, MN
Shelby has overcome many obstacles in his 31 years. He is nonverbal and uses a device and adaptive sign language to communicate with others. Before getting involved with Special Olympics, Shelby was socially isolated and had very few friends. But after joining Special Olympics over 22 years ago, his life changed. Today, Shelby lives a vibrant life filled with amazing friendships, a busy schedule and a passion for spreading the word of Special Olympics to his community.
Shelby’s first sports were bowling and swimming, but over the years he has added more and more and now also participates in poly hockey, track, bocce, golf and softball. He also loves to spread the mission of Special Olympics Minnesota as a Global Messenger, Health Messenger and LETR Ambassador.
Shelby really admires Michael Phelps when it comes to swimming, but his biggest inspiration is his mom. She is always there to help him accomplish his goals and cheer him on, and we know she’ll be cheering her loudest at USA Games!
Hometown: Plymouth, MN
Lucy has been involved with Special Olympics Minnesota for over 16 years. She participates in artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, alpine skiing, floor hockey and bowling. She is very involved in Leadership University and is an official Athlete Influencer, regularly sharing her passion for Special Olympics on social media.
“Special Olympics gives me social and fitness opportunities for my overall health and wellbeing. I love being challenged in my sports to become a better athlete, and the leadership classes have helped me advocate for myself and others.”
Outside of Special Olympics, Lucy loves to practice sign language, learn about her family history and volunteer at her local library.
Earlier this summer, Lucy got a big surprise! She found out that she was selected to attend the 2022 USA Games from ESPN SportsCenter anchor, Hannah Storm!
Hometown: New Prague, MN
Darius has been an athlete with Special Olympics Minnesota for over half his life! He first got involved when he was just 15 years old. Throughout the years, he has participated in softball, basketball, poly hockey and bocce. But now, his main focus is powerlifting.
When asked how Special Olympics has changed his life, Darius said, “I have got to meet new people. I have got to try new sports such as powerlifting. I wouldn’t have gotten as into powerlifting as I have if it were not for my coach, Brian. It has also helped my confidence. I know that I am putting in the work to do a good job.”
When he’s not powerlifting, Darius loves spending time with his 4-year-old daughter, volunteering with his church, going to movies and playing video games. Darius is thrilled to be a part of Team Minnesota and is aiming for gold in Orlando!
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