Special Olympics Florida

Special Olympics Florida sending four athletes to 2017 Winter World Games in Austria

SOUSA210 athletes and coaches to represent U.S. at 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

Special Olympics Florida is proud to announce four athletes will be representing the United States, as part of Special Olympics USA at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games. The Games will be held March 14-25, 2017, in Graz, Ramsau, and Schladming, Austria. These athletes include Michelle Canazaro in Alpine skiing, Kerri Leonardo in Alpine skiing, Allan Lohr in figure skating, and Fernanando Nunez in Alpine skiing.    (View biographies)

Special Olympics USA is the national team that represents the United States at the Special Olympics World Summer and Winter Games. The 210-member delegation is comprised of 150 athletes, 40 coaches, and approximately 20 delegation members who support team operations. The delegation also includes Special Olympics Unified Sports teams, where people with and without intellectual disabilities compete together, as teammates.

“We are incredibly proud of the Special Olympics Florida athletes who will compete at World Winter Games,” said Sherry Wheelock, President and CEO of Special Olympics Florida. “Florida is not known for its winter sports, yet our athletes use creative and unconventional training facilities like sand dunes instead of snowy mountains to practice. These four athletes have worked extremely hard and earned their place as part of Special Olympics USA. We are excited to cheer them on and congratulate them on their extraordinary achievements.”

Every two years, the world transcends the boundaries of geography, nationality, political philosophy, gender, age, culture, and religion to come together for the Special Olympics World Games. Alternating between summer and winter Games, this is the flagship event of the Special Olympics movement, which promotes equality, tolerance, and acceptance around the world.

This is expected to be the largest Special Olympics World Winter Games in history. An estimated 2,600 athletes from 106 nations will compete in 9 Olympic-type sports at the 2017 Special Olympics World Games: floorball, floor hockey, stick shooting, figure skating, speed skating, Alpine skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing, and snowshoeing.

ESPN’s global television networks and digital media will bring extensive coverage to sports fans and supporters of the Special Olympics movement around the world. ESPN’s coverage, from March 18-25, marks the first-ever global coverage for a World Winter Games event.  As an official broadcaster of the Special Olympics World Winter Games, ESPN’s television coverage will be carried across its networks in the U.S. as well as streamed through WatchESPN and the ESPN App.