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Special Olympics athletes gather in Great Falls for USA games sendoff

Posted at 9:27 PM, Jun 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 16:50:03-04

GREAT FALLS — Some of the best athletes from around the state gathered for a sendoff in Great Falls Friday – ready to represent Montana at the Special Olympics USA Summer Games in Seattle next week.

Team Montana is 23 members strong – featuring 12 athletes, six unified partners and five coaches. The delegation flies out Saturday morning for five consecutive days of competition against over 4000 athletes and coaches from around the country. The games will feature 10,000 volunteers and over 70,000 spectators. And of course, like any Special Olympics event, competition is only half the fun.

“Through the process, we’re going to have performances by nationally know artists, and then there’s a huge fourth of July celebration inside Washington Husky Stadium,” said Special Olympics Montana Sports Director Scott Held. “In addition to that there’s going to be all sorts of festivities and every single state in the country is going to be bringing a lot of athletes and there will be a lot of relationship forming going on which will be fun.”

The Montana delegation is below.


Participant Role Sport Hometown
Joey Hancock Coach Bowling Bozeman
Avery Corneliusen Unified Partner Bowling Billings
Garrison Hein Athlete Bowling Billings
Taffy McCombs Unified Partner Bowling Cut Bank
Katie Siebrecht Athlete Bowling Cut Bank
Kathy Wanner Coach Bocce Great Falls
Linda Croskrey Unified Partner Bocce Great Falls
Betsy Schaffer Athlete Bocce Great Falls
Sadie Bailey Unified Partner Bocce Victor
Zoe Barber Athlete Bocce Victor
Kris Kelly Coach Bocce Polson
Michael Vergeront Unified Partner Bocce Polson
Chance Hoover Athlete Bocce Polson
Nate Lopez Unified Partner Bocce Anaconda
Dillon Pickering Athlete Bocce Anaconda
Mark Kuhr Coach Powerlifting Whitefish
Sylvester Vermillion Athlete Powerlifting Columbia Falls
Chandler Krahn Athlete Powerlifting Charlo
Greg Grove Coach Athletics Eureka
Jen Mazur Athlete Athletics Great Falls
Ellen Bischoff Athlete Athletics Helena
Zach Stenson Athlete Athletics Butte
Jon Turner Athlete Athletics Big Timber


The 2018 USA games will be broadcast on the ABC family of networks including ESPN2 and ESPN3.


Sunday, July 1
2018 Special Olympics USA Games Opening Ceremony
3:30 p.m.

Monday, July 2
2018 Special Olympics USA Games
6 p.m.
LIVE Special Olympics Swimming 5 p.m. ESPN3

Tuesday, July 3
2018 Special Olympics USA Games
6 p.m.
LIVE Special Olympics Swimming 4:30 p.m. ESPN3

Wednesday, July 4
2018 Special Olympics USA Games
5 p.m.
LIVE Special Olympics Swimming 1 p.m. ESPN3

Thursday, July 5
2018 Special Olympics USA Games
6 p.m.
LIVE Special Olympics Swimming 4:30 p.m. ESPN3

Friday, July 6
2018 Special Olympics USA Games
6 p.m.

Sunday, July 8
2018 Special Olympics USA Games
2 p.m.