GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) - More than 19,620 athletes participate in Special Olympics programs in the state of Michigan. Michigan has one of the largest programs in the United States and works with athletes both young and old and provides sports programming year round.
Special Olympics provides 24 sports and although sports are the "vehicle," the ultimate goal of Special Olympics is to help people with intellectual disabilities participate and receive respect as members of their communities.
Brothers, Damon and Zach Cassese have both found a love of competing in winter sports through Special Olympics. Damon began with Special Olympics three years ago and has gone on to his first state competition in 2012 and received two gold medals for snowboarding. He loves to snowboard, but was not very good at it until he received amazing coaching through the Area 11 Special Olympics program. Special Olympics has taught him how to be a team player and perseverance.
Damon loves Special Olympics because his friends in the program never tease him or put him down. He doesn't feel upset or shy when he needs extra time or asks extra questions and it's a place he can go where he doesn't feel people treat him differently.
Damon's, 11 year old brother Zach also competes with Special Olympics. Zach is a downhill skier who competes on a state level.
For more information on Special Olympics and their programming in the state of Michigan, contact one of their two offices below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southeast Regional Office
4084 John R Road
Troy, MI 48085
Southwest Regional Office
1239 76th Street SW, Suite E
Byron Center, MI 49315
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