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Special Olympics Arizona Athletes Set to Take Center Court for World Championship Volleyball Competition

Special Olympics USA National Team Vying for Top Placement in Warsaw, Poland

Post Date:08/22/2014 3:00 PM

Pamela Edelstein
Denise Rentschler 480.350.5209 

Tempe, ARIZ—Special Olympics Arizona athletes will go head-to-head with the worlds’ top Unified Sports competitors at the FIVB (Federation of International Volleyball) Men’s World Championship to be held in Warsaw, Poland. Starting Wednesday, August 27, The Special Olympics USA National Team, along with the three other Unified Volleyball teams from Poland, Serbia and Germany will contend against one another for three days of competition prior to the commencement of the FIVB Championship.

Special Olympics athletes from all four corners of the state of Arizona were chosen to join the Special Olympics USA National Team. In total, 12 Arizonan athletes, three Head Coaches, and two Assistant Coaches will represent the United States at the 2014 Special Olympics Unified Volleyball Tournament.

Athletes and Unified Partners will have the opportunity to meet and speak with ambassadors and FIVB legends. They will also attend the FIVB World Championship Opening match at the National Stadium on Saturday, August 30.

The Unified Sports Program pairs students with and without disabilities to train and compete together at 100 Arizona high schools— wearing the same uniforms and participating in tournaments just like Varsity players, being honored at the same pep rallies and afforded the same opportunity to letter in a sport. The mission of Unified Sports is to bring people together and combat stereotypes about individuals with intellectual disabilities.

“Special Olympics Arizona is honored to be sending a Unified Volleyball team to showcase the Unified Sports Program in Poland and represent the USA,” said Tim Martin, CEO of Special Olympics. “ The Unified Sports program is dedicated to joining individuals with or without intellectual disabilities. The competitions in Poland are a testament to how unique the program is, and the amazing opportunities the program presents our athletes and supporters.”

Residents from around the state are encouraged to support the Special Olympics USA National Team from Arizona. Please visit to learn more on how to support these amazing athletes.

For more information on Unified Sports program and upcoming competitions, please visit

Special Olympics Athletes
For people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics is often the only place where they have an opportunity to participate in their communities and develop belief in themselves. For athletes, Special Olympics sports provide a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy.  The lessons learned in Special Olympics also impact their life skills. Sports training enhances focus and gives participants a structure for learning important lessons about perseverance, endurance and setting goals. Many people are surprised to know, more than half of adult Special Olympics athletes in the United States are employed, versus 10 percent of intellectually disabled persons who do not participate in Special Olympics. 

Special Olympics Mission 
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.


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