Athlete Leadership Council (ALC)
This year, our Athlete Leadership Council (ALC) gathered together for their 4th in-person conference after a long hiatus due to COVID. The ALC conference was a three-day event that coincided with the 2022 Fall State Games.
The Athlete Leadership Council (ALC) is a made up of Special Olympics Oregon athlete leaders who are passionate, engaged and ready to make a change in the world. The Athlete Leadership Council was created to give our athletes a platform to express ideas, concerns and recommendations from their peers to help improve the quality of Special Olympics Oregon’s programs and services.
Since returning from COVID our ALC has grown from 12 Athlete Leaders to 18 Athlete Leaders, representing all areas across the state. Over the coming months, we plan to grow so that we have an athlete from every county/ Local Program participate in the ALC.
• Shawn Hinz (ALC Chairman & BOD member) - Benton County
• Tomas Seeger (BOD and DEI Taskforce member) - Multnomah County
• Ashley Herberholz – Washington County
• Atheena McClaughry – Washington County
• CJ Billings – Linn County
• Colt Allen – Multnomah County
• Devon Holcomb – Linn County*
• Dominic Assad – Multnomah County*
• Dony Knight – Douglas County
• Jack Kain – Clatsop County*
• Joey Gross – Union County*
• Kortni Vaughn – Yamhill County
• Lucy Balthazaar – Multnomah County*
• Mary Stevens – Jackson County*
• Mason Williams – Lane County*
• Misty Larson – Umatilla County
• Rachel Parson – Multnomah County*
• Zach Herman – Deschutes County
Coach Education Clinics
This year Special Olympics Oregon relaunched our coach Education Clinics. This is the first time since 2017, that the Coach Education programs have been offered in SOOR
In 2023, SOOR hosted 2 Soccer Coach Education clinics, in partnership with Oregon Youth Soccer Association, and 3 Basketball Clinics across the state.
These clinics were created and implemented for Unified Champion School and Local Programs coaches.
We are excited to see this program grow and have an out-reach to hundreds of volunteer coaches across the state in the coming years.
This year Special Olympics Oregon sent a delegation of 40 athletes, Unified Partners, coaches and staff to the 2022 USA Games in Florida... And Team Oregon did not disappoint. Our Athletes and Unified Partners brought home:
2 x Gold, 7 x Silver, 4 x Bronze, 2 x 4th, 6 x5th, 4 x 6th, 2 x 7th and 2 x 8th
GOLD: Aquatics - Caitlyn Calaway (50 Free) Athletics - Cadence Lange (200m)
SILVER: Aquatics - Lucy Balthazaar (25 Free), Caitlyn Calaway (50 Breast) Athletics - Avery Schuler (200m), Howard Day (Pentathalon) Bocce - Samantha Lee (Individual), Samantha & Vickie Lee (Unified Doubles) Basketball - Carlos Reyes, Keifer Jackson, Jack Bailey, Jacob Aguilar, Cameron Walker, Nathan Criteser, Olive Nye, Cloe LeLuge, Austin Baker, Ben Keowen (Team)
BRONZE: Aquatics - Danny Tran (50 Back & 25 Back), Shaun See (100 Free) Bowling - Nancy Roberts, Brandi Wriglesworth, Walker Hill, Marques Latson (Team)
4th: Aquatics - Lucy Balthazaar (25 Back), Lucy Balthazaar, Caitlyn Calaway, Danny Tran & Shaun See (4x25 Relay)
5th: Athletics - Cadence Lange (100m), Harley Lyberis (100m) Bocce - Ivory Moore-Pike & John Pike (Unified Doubles), Bowling - Nancy Roberts (Individual) Nancy Roberts & Brandi Wriglesworth (Doubles), Walker Hill & Marques Latson (Doubles)
6th: Aquatics - Shaun See (100 Back), Athletics - Cadence Lange, Avery Schuler, Harley Lyberis, Howard Day (4x100 Relay) Bocce - Ivory Moore-Pike (Individual) Bowling - Marques Latson (Individual)
7th: Athletics - Avery Schuler (100m), Bowling - Walker Hill (Individual)
8th: Athletics - Harley Lyberis (200m) Bowling - Brandi Wriglesworth (Individual)
Polar Plunge was back in-person for the first time since covid with wonderful, record-breaking participation. Raising over $530,000 with Plunges in Portland, Bend, Corvallis, Eugene, Medford, Salem, and at the Coast.
The DIY Plunge option was still available making the event inclusive for people who can’t run into bodies of water and also accessible for people who don’t live near a Plunge site – a silver lining of covid!
Huge thank you to our incredible sponsors Clackamas Federal Credit Union, Lithia, Aerotek, Jiffy Lube, and Mattress World.
This year, our esports league, sponsored by PlayStation, was a huge success, especially during the height of COVID when our focus was to provide virtual programming. Athletes from around the state were able to socialize, train and compete through consoles such as PlayStation and online gaming.
One of our esports athletes, Ben Schaur, Gamertag - BenTheBean, has been a crucial part of the Esports league since the launch of our pilot season, almost 2 years ago. A devoted team member and coach, Ben has been the All-star of the Roaring Engines team and a driving force behind their 2 championships in Rocket League and Fortnite. A dependable Athlete and teammate, Ben has almost never missed out on a night of competition. Ever since the first tournament we all knew Ben was a contender.
Ben says “My favorite thing about esports is people from anywhere in Oregon being able to get together and just have a fun time. Unlike real life we don't have to worry about how we look or our physical disabilities.
This year SOOR relaunched our Summer Season. Due to COVID, this was the first season of training and competition since Winter 2020. During the Summer Season, SOOR hosted 11 regional competitions (4 x Athletics, 3 x Bocce, 2 x Golf and 2 x Softball).
Many highlights and stories have been shared from our 2022 Summer Season Regionals but one story that really showcases our athletes talents, athleticism and grit is the story of Mason Williams (Eugene/ Springfield) and Devon Holcomb (Linn).
Both athletes competed in the100M dash and both crossed the finish line at exactly 12.22 seconds - which is a remarkable time for the 100m Dash event. The entire stadium was cheering within the first few seconds as spectators witnessed how fast these two athletes were sprinting.
This is just one example of how the spirit of competition and comradery in SOOR is alive and well!
Watch Race link: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=556773672660076
Plane Pull Presented by Subaru
Plane Pull presented by Subaru raised over $95,000. It was a tremendous year for growth and record-setting. We had wonderful support from law enforcement, athletes, cross-fit gyms, companies, and Special Olympics fans.
Thank you Subaru for your sponsorship.
Fall State Games
On November 19th & 20th SOOR hosted Fall State Games at Providence Park and Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District. This was the first State Games that SOOR has hosted since 2017 and we came back with a bang!
Over 300 Athletes and Unified partners competed in Individual Skills, Traditional 5v5 Soccer, Unified Sports® 5v5 Soccer, Traditional 6v6 Volleyball and Unified 6v6 Volleyball.
It was truly amazing to see our athletes back on the field and court as we re-launch our State Games.