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Team Nebraska Red narrowly defeats Team Nebraska Black

July 21, 2010

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Video by Farooq Baloch and Christine Scalora, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Two Nebraskan teams played each other on the basketball court Tuesday. Team Nebraska Red won the hard-fought, physical game 24-23.
These teams had played each other previously, but players and coaches from both teams said they were excited to be at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games.



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Jeremy Colter: from athlete to official

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Video by Farooq Baloch and Christine Scalora, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Former Special Olympics athlete Jeremy Colter is officiating basketball at his first Special Olympics USA National Games. With the help of his mentor, Donald Marcotte, Colter completed the Special Olympics Officials’ Program for Athletes (SOOPA) to qualify. Colter said he is excited to be officiating at the National Games.



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Athletes trade pins and make friends

July 20, 2010

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Minnesota women’s basketball players are proud of the pins they collect from fellow athletes.
Photo: Brittany Guindon, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Volunteer Pam Pedersen shows off the bracelet given to her by a Louisiana basketball athlete.
Photo: Brittany Guindon, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Pins adorn many of the hats and GEICO ID lanyards of the athletes, coaches and volunteers participating in the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games. It remains a Special Olympics tradition to collect and trade pins between teams. Participants say it is a fun way to meet each other and make new friends.

Many of the Wisconsin athletes wear hats for their pins, while others use bags or the lanyards around their necks. No matter where the pins are attached, each athlete seems to have plenty.

The officials have 2010 Special Olympics event pins to trade with the athletes, and the teams have pins to represent their states. Each player on the Minnesota women’s basketball team, for example, had 19 pins to give out, and some players have already run out.

None of the volunteers started out with pins, yet several sport them. Volunteer Pam Pedersen said that many of the athletes stop to chat with her, so she’ll ask for a pin.

“I’m trying to catch them from coaches though. I feel bad getting them from athletes because I have nothing to trade them for,” Pedersen said.

To go with her pins, an athlete from Louisiana gave Pedersen a bracelet (photo above). The exchange of pins is one way athletes from all over the nation and volunteers from Nebraska are getting to know each other.

Story: Sierra Frauen, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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South Dakota quashes South Carolina at Games

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Photo by Christine Scalora, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

South Carolina player John Sadler, 19, of Gaston, South Carolina, shoots the ball under pressure from South Dakota players. South Dakota won the game 31 to 29.

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Photo by Christine Scalora, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

South Carolina player David Cook, 23, of West Columbia, South Carolina, cheers on his teammates during the game.

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Photo by Christine Scalora, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Emily Anderson, 17, of Yankton South Dakota, and Mike Jacobson (number 25), 27, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, anxiously watch the ball roll around the rim.



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Lone female graces SC’s unified basketball team

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Tandrena Glover of Columbia South Carolina is the only female player on the SC unified basketball team. She likes to have fun and says she is as athletic as men. South Carolina unified basketball team lost to South Dakota unified basketball team at Southeast Lincoln High School on Monday, July 19, 2010.



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Team Florida goes for gold

July 19, 2010

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Video by Christine Scalora, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The members of Team Florida proved they are the athletes to watch during the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games when they played Team Delaware on Monday. The fast-paced game in the first round of competition revealed Team Florida’s impressive athletic ability and team unity, as the Floridians soundly defeated their opponents.

This team of athletes has been preparing for the USA National Games for five months, creating a strong bond among the members.

Ages vary widely on the team. Jeremiah Bennett, 32, lines up alongside Andre Larry, 18, for instance.

Coach Laurie Chmielewski hopes to lead the team to a gold medal. But the players intend to enjoy the experience no matter what the outcomes is. “We have fun all day,” says Larry.



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Team Tennessee plays first basketball game

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Video by Farooq Baloch and Christine Scalora, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Team Tennessee played Team South Dakota in their first game of the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games on Sunday.



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Team Ohio prepared to take on nation

July 17, 2010

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Volunteers prepare for basketball games

July 15, 2010

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Video by Farooq Baloch and Christine Scalora, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Preparations for the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games reached their final stages at Lincoln Southeast High School, the basketball venue. Linda Janssen, venue director, and Rhonda Rhodes, sports commissioner, briefed the volunteers about their responsibilities as they met on Wednesday.

There will be 378 athletes forming 39 teams. Delegates from 48 states and the District of Columbia will participate in the USA National Games.

The athletes will play on four courts beginning on Sunday, July 18, until the final games on Friday, July 23.



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