CHARLOTTE — Two athletes from North Carolina have been picked to represent Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) at the 2023 Special Olympic Games in Berlin, June 17-25.
Phillip Blount IV of Charlotte will compete in athletics and Erin Cagle of Raleigh will compete in artistic gymnastics, announced SONC President and CEO Keith L. Fishburne.
Blount is preparing for the 100m sprint, 400x1m relay baton and standing shotput.
He works on strength training and conditioning with his coach twice a week.
Blount said he is going for the gold.
“I think I’m going to win something,” Blount told Channel 9. “I’m not quite sure because I’m still in the process of training.”
His journey to Germany started with winning a gold medal in a state competition.
Blount also attended a training camp in Texas to be considered for the World Games.
Accompanying the athletes, are two head coaches: Jake Harvey from Banner Elk will be the head coach for cycling, and James Price from Trinity will be the head coach for bocce.
Special Olympics USA includes 133 athletes and Unified partners, 38 coaches and 23 delegation members supporting team operations. Athletes compete in 14 of the 26 sporting events including athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, golf, gymnastics, tennis and more.
Also included are Special Olympics Unified Sports teams, where people with and without disabilities play together as teammates. Unified Sports events include basketball, bocce, bowling, golf, sailing, soccer, tennis and volleyball.
Head of Delegation for Special Olympics USA Craig Pippert hailed the event as a way to bring athletes of all abilities together and is encouraging his fellow Americans to cheer on their chosen athletes.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these athletes and Unified partners to demonstrate their athletic abilities, competing at the highest level on the world stage, and to have life and cultural experiences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” said Pipert.
To learn more about Special Olympics USA please click here.
(WATCH BELOW: Special Olympics N.C. Fall Tournament comes to Charlotte this weekend)
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