Support Special Olympics Athletes in Oregon

by Special Olympics Oregon

The Summer Sports Season is wrapping up! The 2016 Summer State Games were a great success, thanks to our fantastic supports, and of course, our athletes.


Athletes competed in Athletics (Track & Field), Softball, Bocce and Golf.



The Flame of Hope

Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) celebrated its 30th Anniversary of supporting Special Olympics Oregon participants.
Over 1,000 officers and athletes relayed the Flame of Hope throughout Oregon, which culminated in the Final Leg at Summer State Games. Thank you to all of the Law Enforcement officers for supporting Special Olympics Oregon at the Summer Statege Games and continuing to encourage and bring joy to our athletes!
Games Ceremony
Over 1,900 participants and 735 volunteers took part in the Summer State Games!

Pride in Performance Athlete Award:
Travis Koski from the Washington County Local Program has been participating in Special Olympics Oregon for 7 years. Travis has grown to be very social and active.  He strives to do his best, whether it be in athletics or academics and continues to inspire others with his positive outlook on life.Click here to read more about Travis!
Pride in Performance Volunteer Award:
Carmen Dowell is a Co-Local Program Coordinator, coach, assistant coach and unified partner for the Cottage Grove/Creswell Local Program and is dedicated to providing as many opportunities to our athletes as possible. She always does what is best for the athletes, spends many hours preparing for each
event and is always is ready to help. Read more about Carmen here.
Ken Davis Unsung Hero Award:
Officer Pam Ramsey from McMinnville Police Department has been involved with the Oregon Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) since 2010. She has been instrumental in coordinating the McMinnville Police Department leg of the Torch Run, their annual Tip-a-Cop and has also inspired other agencies to start their own fundraising efforts. Read more about Pam here.
Dancing the night away!
See more great photos from Summer State Games on our Facebook page!
Cameron, Bend High School
Cameron, Bend High School

Special Olympics Oregon participants from all over the state have begun training hard for the upcoming regional competitions in June and Summer State Games, proudly supported by A-dec, in July. Athletes compete in athletics (track & field), bocce, golf, and softball.

With the help of our supporters and donors, Special Olympics Oregon now serves 13,000 participants year round through life-changing opportunities. Our programs provide opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to feel respected, included, and empowered to be the best they can be. 

This month we have highlighted one of our amazing athletes, Cameron, who has grown tremendously throughout his two years with Special Olympics Oregon.

Cameron first got involved in Special Olympics Oregon two years ago during his freshman year at Bend High School when he participated in their Unified Sports program.  He participates year round in Unified soccer, Unified basketball and Unified softball.

When Cameron began he was very enthusiastic about sports, but had some growing to do in learning to be a team player.  Since then his teachers and coaches say that Cameron’s growth has been outstanding.  “When we see him at practice or on the playing field he is encouraging other players, participating in practices, and supporting his team,” said Robert, Life Skills Teacher and Unified Sports Coach at Bend Senior High School.

The leadership and compassion that Cameron exhibits to his teammates is admirable.  At the Unified Basketball tournament that his team recently competed at, one of the players was very upset about missing several baskets.  Cameron took the time to go and encourage the other player to the point that the other player continued to play.

Cameron has come a long way from the freshman who had difficulty being a team player, to now being a tremendous asset to our teams,” said Coach Tadjiki.

We are inspired and proud to have Cameron as a Special Olympics Oregon athlete, and we thank those who support our mission and helping individuals like Cameron succeed on and off the field. 

While your donations help support Special Olympics Oregon's year round sports training and competitions, it is also a vital factor in our ability to expand our Unified Sports program, where individuals with and without intellectual disabilities play on the same team.

Special Olympics Oregon Unified Sports is changing the culture in Oregon schools. By joining people with and without intellectual disabilities together on the same team, stereotypes about people who have an intellectual disability disappear, understanding grows and friendships are made. As a result, schools are becoming more accepting, inclusive and respect is being shown to those with intellectual disabilities.

Now, for the first time ever, a High School Unified Basketball league has been created. There are 39 games on the schedule in the Portland-metro area this season and it has already provided participants and spectators alike with amazing experiences!

Athletic Directors from schools around Oregon are treating their Unified basketball teams just like their Varsity and Junior Varsity teams by incorporating the games into the season's schedule, providing similar uniforms as other teams and providing newly trained coaches. Games are also planned with cheerleaders, a game announcer and a student cheering section that is full of enthusiasm.

"Our first night of Unified Basketball games was incredibly successful. Parents came up to me after the game and were so appreciative that their child got to be part of a school team. They never envisioned that their child would wear the same high school uniform as an older brother or sister," said Jean Hansen, Director of Youth Outreach for Special Olympics Oregon.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend one of these Unified Basketball games you need to. If you don’t want to take our word for it, then here are some quotes from a couple of people who recently attended a game for the first time:

"To ALL - If there's ever a chance to see one of these games even if you know no-one on either team - GO! Just watching the peer mentors help these kids - and all the celebrations after making a basket - it's a win/win all around! The fans cheering for both teams, the refs even high-fiving the kids. It made my week!”

"It was one of the best things I've ever seen. To see the band, cheer, students and staff get so spirited and support the efforts of these kids was so awesome… it made my week.”


Mark your calendars for this worldwide day of giving! People all over the world are joining together to make a difference in our community on Tuesday, December 1st for Giving Tuesday, but you can make a difference today!

Your gift has a critical impact on the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities in Oregon, which represents the largest disability population in our state and affects one in five Oregon families. Your support helps us provide life-long opportunities, hope, acceptance, and respect among our participants.

The athlete pictured in this project is Isaac and this was his first year experiencing the joys of Special Olympics Oregon. His parents cannot wait to get him involved more in the future so that he can feel accepted among his peers, empowered to achieve his goals, and make life long friendships. When you support Special Olympics Oregon, you are creating opportunities for thousands of participants just like Isaac.

While we currently support over 12,000 participants each year, there are still over 100,000 individuals that we have yet to reach. We are compelled to do more, but we need your help to do so. Help us reach our goal of $100,000 this season by making a gift now. With a gift of just $25 you can provide a participant weekly access to a practice venue

Help participants, like Isaac, succeed on the playing field and in life! 


Oregon delegation
Oregon delegation

The Special Olympics Oregon delegation returned home from the 2015 World Games, held in Los Angeles, and were greeted with open arms and plenty of joy at the Portland International Airport.Congratulations to all of delegates who competed and represented Special Olympics Oregon.  

With their return, father and son bocce duo
 brought home the Bronze Medal in the Bocce Unified Doubles competition! Alec also received 4th place in the Singles competition.

Our golf delegate finished 5th place in the Level 5, 18-hole golf competition with an overall score of 319.

Another one of our athletes finished 4th place in the 50-meter Freestyle with a time of 0:56.58! They also finished 4th in the 50-meter Backstroke and earned a participation ribbon for the 4 x 50-meter Relay.

For many, this was a once in a lifetime experience and it is becuase of people like you that we are able to offer such amazing opportunities. 

We are so proud of what our Oregon delegates accomplished at the 2015 World Games!


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Organization Information

Special Olympics Oregon

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Arthur Steinhorn
Project Leader
Portland, OR United States

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