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Vincent Pirro

Participating in Special Olympics has given Vincent Pirro the opportunity to be strong and healthy. Now 22 years old, Vincent began competing with Special Olympics at age 9. Last year he trained in 7 Special Olympics sports with the local program in Westfield: track & field, basketball, bowling, soccer, golf, power lifting and softball. Only 3 other athletes in Massachusetts, out of over 14,000, trained in that many. Out of the seven, his favorites are bowling, soccer, basketball and power lifting. His passion and dedication for power lifting was even noticed by the USA Power Lifting Organization during Summer…

Author: Catherine Twing

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Joseph Hocter knows how to stay busy

Joseph Hocter Jr. likes to stay busy. REALLY busy. In 2019 Joseph trained in 7 different Special Olympics sports, worked out at a boxing gym weekly, fundraised for Special Olympics Massachusetts, attended NortheastArc programs, was a member of local organizations AND worked at Crosby’s Marketplace in Marblehead. At age 35, he has been participating in Special Olympics for 24 years since he first began swimming at age 11. In 2019 he trained in track & field, basketball, bocce, bowling, flag football, golf and power lifting.  Only 3 other athletes in Massachusetts, out of over 14,000, trained in as many sports…

Author: Catherine Twing

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Gregg Gallant’s Story – Natick Passion Plunge 2020

Hello, I’m Gregg and I am very excited to be part of your plunge today in support of Special Olympics. Special Olympics Massachusetts offers 23 amazing sports over 4 seasons, as an athlete I compete in four of those: Alpine skiing in the winter, volleyball in the spring, softball in the summer and soccer in the fall. I would love to be able to play every sport…..but let’s be honest, I’m not superman.  For over 50 years Special Olympics has included and given the opportunities to many of my fellow athletes that they have never dreamed of. Through the…

Author: Meghan O'Neil

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My experience in Special Olympics

My experience in Special Olympics – Why it’s become important in my life. There comes a time when after you first join something, you never know what might happen until you notice changes in your life down the road. Although change is a tough thing to go along with, it does feel great when it’s based on choices made. For me, being an athlete in Special Olympics was one choice that helped me make a change. Without Special Olympics, I don’t know what I would be to this day. The decision to become a Special Olympics athlete was something…

Author: Catherine Twing

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Mother/daughter Unified pair to compete in bocce

Most people reach their 80s and decide it’s time to take it slow, and watch from the sidelines as their children or grandchildren compete. But Madgalena Margelony of Shrewsbury decided 84 was the perfect age to start playing bocce with her daughter Theresa as a Unified partner. “I don’t remember what they called bocce in German, but I used to play, it was fun,” said Madgalena who was born in Germany. Theresa, 59, has been a Special Olympics athlete with the Shrewsbury program for about six or seven years now, competing in basketball, bocce and track & field.  This…

Author: Catherine Twing

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Milford athlete selected for NBA Cares

Ashley Aldrich got quite a surprise one December morning as she reported to her job at Milford High School. The Special Olympics athlete who volunteers daily in the school’s Special Education department was greeted with an exciting message: “You’re going to NBA Cares!” The NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Sports Experience is an annual event as part of NBA All-Stars. A select number of athletes from around the world compete in a Unified game alongside NBA and WNBA legends. The athletes apply to be a part of this event including a video where they talk about their experience with basketball…

Author: Catherine Twing

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Ringing in the New Year at the 2019 Winter Classic

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics Movement and for the first time ever, the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks have invited Special Olympics floor hockey teams to participate in the annual NHL Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. Athletes from Massachusetts and Illinois will partner with Bruins and Blackhawks alumni to compete in a Unified Floor Hockey exhibition at the Joyce Center on the Campus of the University of Notre Dame. Special Olympics Massachusetts will be represented by eight athletes from the Belmont/Watertown S.P.O.R.T program. Special Olympics Illinois will be represented…

Author: Catherine Twing

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Berkshire County Arc athlete oldest competitor at Senior Sports Classic

Some adults might consider their athletic careers over after their 20’s or 30’s, but Edward Therrien of Pittsfield is still competing as a Special Olympics Massachusetts athlete at the age of 80. Born May 23, 1938, Ed is the oldest athlete on the Berkshire County ARC (BCARC) Titans team and held the title of oldest competitor at the annual Special Olympics Massachusetts Senior Sports Classic on October 13 in Hyannis. Ed and his teammates joined over 150 athletes from across the state last weekend to participate in the annual event, held at Barnstable High School. The Senior Sports Classic…

Author: Catherine Twing

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Q & A with athlete Amanda Church

Amanda Church is a Special Olympics athlete with the LIFE Program on the Cape. Amanda has been competing in Special Olympics for more than 15 years and currently competes in basketball, swimming, and soccer. She represented the United States in swimming at the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles and in June she hosted the Special Olympics Massachusetts Summer Games Opening Ceremonies for the second year in a row! Q- How has being an athlete with Special Olympics Massachusetts for so many years helped you with hosting big events like the Hall of Fame and Opening Ceremonies? A- Being a Special Olympics athlete is…

Author: Catherine Twing

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Jay Nothnagle – A Hero Among Us

A note from Taffy and Jeff Nothnagle: Friday, April 6 was an amazing night! The Boston Celtics honored our son, Jay as the “Hero Among Us” at their home game against the Chicago Bulls. The Heroes Among Us program began in 1997 when the Celtics wanted to honor people who had made an exceptional and lasting contribution to the community through their unique commitment and spirit. They have honored such a person at each of their home games ever since. After watching the Celtics warm-ups from court-side, we went to our seats til the end of the first period,…

Author: Charles Hirsch

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