Category: Athlete

#SundaySpotlight: James Morrell

James Morrell has gained a spike in self-esteem since joining Special Olympics Southern California two years ago. The medals he’s amassed have helped serve as conversation starters. But James’ new favorite topic is his selection to compete this summer at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle. “He has something exciting to talk to ...

Bocce Athlete, Mother Preps for Return at 2018 USA Games

By Christian Barel Special Olympics Southern California aims to create unity through sports, and that is what the organization has done for Jennifer Ali. Through Special Olympics she has gotten more involved by competing, and built long-lasting friendships while at it. After a horrific car accident in 2003, Jennifer was welcomed by the Special Olympics ...

Andrew Kramer: Beyond Sports

Andrew Kramer does not let an intellectual disability define him or limit his capabilities. When he’s not playing tennis for Special Olympics Tri-Valley, Andrew works at a tax office in Santa Monica. Andrew’s accomplishments include being part of the first graduating class of UCLA Extension’s two-year certificate program for individuals with disabilities in 2009. He ...

#Bestof2017: Little Voice

This last week of 2017, we have looked at some of the moments that define the movement here at Special Olympics Southern California. There were so many, but we are attempting to give you the "Best of 2017." Today, on the final day of 2017, we wrap-up our "Best of 2017" with this story about ...

Michael Roth: Magnetizing

By Christian Barel As a child, Michael Roth was known for his magnetizing persona. At the age of 11, during a family trip to the Grand Canyon, he easily made friends with bystanders and would introduce them to his parents. There is something about Michael that can’t be missed. No matter what room he enters, ...

Paul Lapre: Banner Year

Few have had as thrilling a 2017 calendar year than Special Olympics Southern California softball athlete Paul Lapre, whose highlights include throwing out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium and a selection for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. “All my dreams are finally coming true,” said Paul, who first started competing in 1968. The ...

Pushing Boundaries

Amanda Stegall was once hesitant about competing athletically – not because she wasn’t intrigued, but for safety reasons. Amanda, who has cerebral palsy, is appreciative of a selection of non-contact sports to remain active. “She’ll try anything now,” said her grandmother, Linda, a coach for Special Olympics Santa Clarita. Amanda, 25, participates in bocce in ...

#Bestof2017: Determination

This last week of 2017, we will take a look at some of the moments that define the movement here at Special Olympics Southern California. There were so many, but we are attempting to give you the "Best of 2017." Today, on Christmas Day, we start with this amazing moment on the track, as told ...

Gaining a Voice

Prior to starting with Special Olympics Southern California, Digna Punsalang has always known her daughter Patricia to be more reserved and quiet. But during a get-together among her peers, Patricia was asked to stand up in front of a small group. That’s when Digna first saw how the organization had made a difference outside of ...

Athlete Looks to Fulfill Hoop Dreams at USA Games

By Christian Barel Nihan Uslu finds balance in her life by practicing yoga. Four years of the tranquil activity has activated an interaction between her inner-self and body. Yoga is a big factor to centering her mind, especially while competing in Special Olympics. “Yoga always keeps me calm,” Nihan said. As an athlete, Nihan has ...