5 Athletes, 1 Coach, 1 Official Going to 2013 World Games in Korea

(Including Mis Village Resident, Patrick McCarthy)

reposted from the Special Olympics Illinois website

Five Special Olympics athletes from Illinois will know the same thrill the U.S. Olympians felt in London when they compete as part of Team USA in the Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea, Jan. 30 – Feb. 6, 2013.

Speed skater PatrickTheir families are just as thrilled including the parents of speed skater Patrick McCarthy. “I’m no longer surprised at what my son has been able to achieve through Special Olympics. Things I never thought could happen have happened. The sky is the limit,” said Bill McCarthy, Patrick’s father.

Patrick was born with Down syndrome 22 years ago in Chicago, but to see what Patrick has been able to accomplish in that time is mind-boggling.  At 17 months old, he was learning to swim at the Chicago Park District.  Since turning 8 years old, he has competed in 10 Special Olympics sports, building his skills and confidence little by little, which enabled him to get involved in sports outside of Special Olympics. 

He joined the Tomahawks ice hockey team for skaters with developmental disabilities.  He started competing in speed skating through Special Olympics to improve his skating, and found he couldn’t get enough of the racing aspect of the sport. So he expanded his opportunities by joining the Franklin Park Speed Skating team, competing in long and short-track events throughout the country. In February, Patrick took home three gold medals in speed skating from the Special Olympics Illinois State Winter Games in Galena and was nominated to be part of Team USA for the World Games. 

“I am proud and excited to be going to Korea and I am honored to represent the United States,” said Patrick.  His friends and teammates from WSSRA, where he trained for many years, and from Misericordia Heart of Mercy, where he now lives, works and trains in Special Olympics, will be cheering for him.

Here are the athletes, coach and official from Illinois who will be part of the Illinois delegation to Team USA for the 2013 World Games in Korea:

  • Erin Hart of Pleasant Hill – figure skating
  • Jeremy Kuehn of Yorkville – cross country skiing
  • Nathan Warren of Princeton – snowshoeing
  • Becky Whitehead of McHenry – alpine skiing
  • Patrick McCarthy of Chicago – speed skating
  • Coach Dave Dauphin of NISRA – snowshoeing
  • Official Sean McNamee of Alsip – floor hockey