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Darrius Roberts of Missouri sings national anthem

July 26, 2010

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Cooling off after flag football victory

July 23, 2010

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Missouri flag football player Bryan Snow gets drenched with water by other Missouri athletes after their game Thursday night. Missouri defeated the Indiana Kats to take home the gold.
Photo: Corinne Burger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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Missouri basketball player hits the high note

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Missouri basketball player Darrious Roberts proudly sings the national anthem before his game Friday morning at Lincoln Southeast High School.

“He loves to perform both on the court and off,” said his grandmother, Ruth Short. His passion for singing began when he started music therapy 11 years ago. With the help of his music teacher, Lisa Casaioli, Roberts performed at a recital and raised more than $2,000 for the USA National Games.

Photo and story: Kaitlyn Burke, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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Missouri flag football team finishes undefeated

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The Missouri team and fans celebrate their flag football victory.

Video by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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Emotional last day for flag football

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Indiana Kats player Des Scott looks on as Tennessee Thunder’s Kevin Evans runs down the field during the first game of the evening for Division 1 of the traditional flag football teams. Division 1 consisted of the Indiana Kats, Tennessee and Missouri, with each team playing each other once.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Tennessee Thunder’s Kevin Evans and Indiana Kats’ Bradley Smith embrace after the Kats’ 9-8 victory in overtime.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Nebraska Red’s Kendrick Leubert (left) and Zach Taylor (right) try to tackle New Jersey’s Steven Rodenbeck during the second game of Division 2 play among the traditional teams. Nebraska Red won 22-14.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Tennessee Thunder assistant coach Miles Duncan of Columbia, Tenn., scratches his head as the Thunder try to come back against Missouri in the second game of traditional Division 1 play. The Thunder lost 16-12.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Arizona’s Andrew Wiemers tries to avoid a tackle from Texas Rattlers’ James Hawkins (left) and John Malone (middle) during the first game of play for Division 1 of the unified teams. Arizona won 14-0.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Arkansas Hogs’ Tyrone Humphrey runs past Nebraska White’s Angelo McIntosh during the Hogs’ 12-6 victory in overtime. This was the first game of play for Division 2 of the traditional teams.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

TyAre Ross of the Nebraska White team tries to catch a ball against Arkansas.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Missouri’s Bernard Hill runs for a touchdown against the Indiana Kats in the Division 1 of traditional teams championship game. Missouri won 26-20, completing a 9-0 undefeated run at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

New Jersey and Nebraska Red players huddle between plays.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, Unversity of Nebraska-Lincoln

New Jersey and Nebraska Red players leap for the ball.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Indiana Bulletz and Texas Rattlers players chase after a ball in the second game of unified Division 1 play. Texas won 32-28.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Arizona tries to defend the Indiana Bulletz during the championship game of the unified Division 1. Arizona won 32-19.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Arkansas and Nebraska Red battle it out in the championship game of Division 2 of the traditional teams. Nebraska Red won 29-14.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

All 10 flag football teams pose after the medal ceremony. For traditional teams in Division 1, Missouri won gold, Indiant Kats silver and Tennessee bronze. For traditional teams in Division 2, Nebraska Red took home gold, Arkansas silver, New Jersey bronze and Nebraska White fourth-place ribbons. For unified teams in Division 1, Arizona won gold, Indiana Bulletz silver and Texas bronze.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The Moody family poses for a picture following the medal ceremony. Brendon Moody, from the Nebraska Football Academy, volunteered all week and brought his sons along with him. They were often seen playing catch between games.



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Basketball takes the court on Thursday

Minnesota

The Minnesota basketball team huddles together after a win against Delaware at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games. Minnesota players demonstrated sportsmanship after each game by chanting their opponent’s name as they broke their huddle.

Photos by: Corinne Burger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Minnesota basketball players watch their teammates on Thursday at Lincoln Southeast High School.
Photos by: Corinne Burger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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A Delaware basketball player walks off the court during his team’s game against Minnesota.
Photos by: Corinne Burger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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The Wisconsin team congratulates Missouri Blue on its win on Thursday. Missouri will play for gold Friday at 1 p.m.
Photos by: Corinne Burger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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A Missouri Blue player takes a free throw in his team’s win against Wisconsin.
Photos by: Corinne Burger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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An Illinois basketball player looks for a teammate to pass to during the game against Indiana at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games.
Photos by: Corinne Burger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Missouri and Wisconsin basketball players fight for the rebound.
Photos by: Corinne Burger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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A Kansas basketball player shows tough defense against a South Dakota shooter on Thursday.
Photos by: Corinne Burger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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A Kansas basketball player celebrates his team’s win against South Dakota, which set up Kansas to play Friday for gold.
Photos by: Corinne Burger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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The games are a family affair for the Wattersons

July 21, 2010

Nick Watterson

Missouri power lifter Nick Watterson receives another gold medal on Monday at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games.

Photo and Story by: Corinne Burger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

“Go for the Gold” yelled 26 year old Missourian athlete Nick Watterson as he accepted his third gold medal in power lifting at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games on Monday.

Nick has been involved in Special Olympics for almost 10 years, participating in basketball, bowling, softball, swimming and his favorite, power lifting. After eight years of competing, Nick achieved his goal of gold this week declaring, “The hard work pays off.”

The Special Olympics have become a family affair for the Wattersons from Springfield, Mo. Nick’s father, David, is involved in the organization as Nick’s day-to-day power lifting coach and the youngest Watterson children, Noel and Michael, have competed in the Special Olympics Unified Sports program for softball, bowling and basketball.

In addition, Nick’s brother Jonathan is currently the coach for the Missouri basketball team at the USA National Games in Lincoln. Jonathan attributes his involvement as a coach to his brother, saying, “Nick is my personal motivational speaker. He’s a daily inspiration to me.”

Not only has the organization had an impact on the Wattersons individually, but their time spent working together also has had a huge impact on their relationships with each other. “The experience has really brought us so much closer as a family,” says Nick’s mother, Cindy Watterson.

The whole family feels blessed to be able to come together and experience the games and see the athletes compete, they said. Knowing how hard his own son works to be able to compete, David commends all the athletes at the USA National Games. “It’s total hard work and dedication. All these athletes should be honored for what they’ve done just to get here. Special Olympics opens up a whole new world to special kids with the same heart and aspirations of being a champion.”

Cheering

Jonathan, Michael, and Noel Watterson cheer on their brother as their mother, Cindy, captures the moment on film.

Family

Front: Noel Watterson, Cindy Watterson, coach Eddie Blaylock of St. Louis. Back: Jonathan Watterson, Nick Watterson, Michael Watterson and David Watterson.



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Faces of flag football, Day 3

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Andrew Kline, 27, from Omaha, Neb., watches his team compete. Kline is a member of the Nebraska White team.
Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Kline cheers for his team from the sidelines.
Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Brennan Mickens, 20, from Kansas City, Mo., attends a Missouri flag football game. Mickens is a member of the Missouri bowling team who came to support another Missouri team.

Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Missouri fan Lina Hill cheers for the Missouri team. Hill is from Blue Springs, Mo., and is supporting her son, Bernard Hill.
Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Power lifter Nick Watterson (26) of Springfield, Mo., proudly displays his three gold medals. Watterson won his medals on Monday and is now finished with his events and plans to spend the rest of the week supporting other Missouri teams.
Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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David Svitak is a 27-year-old basketball player from Downers Grove, Ill. Svitak and some of his basketball teammates visited the flag football venue to see one of the other sports at the Special Olympics.
Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Brandi Vanvleke cheers for the Missouri flag football team. Vanvleke is from Kansas City, Mo., and has a sister participating in the bocce ball competition. But she wanted to watch her home state’s team play flag football on Wednesday.
Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Morgan Plant cheers for the Texas flag football team in between her scheduled soccer games. Plant is a 17-year-old soccer player from Houston, Texas.
Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Tori Jones (17) sits on the bench and watches her Tennessee flag football team. Jones is one of two girls participating in the sport of flag football at this year’s games.

Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Isla Brassil sits on the sidelines at the flag football games with her parents and two brothers. The family is not immediately linked to Special Olympics but wanted to be watch some of the competitions in their hometown of Lincoln, Neb.

Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Texas flag football player Mike Earnst watches his team from the bench. Earnst is 21 and is from Baytown, Texas.
Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Joe Volpert watches the Nebraska Red flag football team. Volpert, like many of the Nebraska Red players, is from Papillion-LaVista and commented on the opportunity he has had to watch many of the players grow up and now compete at the Special Olympics.
Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Michael Tom smiles big on the bench of his Arizona flag football team. Tom, 27, is from Chandler, Ariz.
Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Rhonda Stadter, from Blue Springs, Mo., shouts encouragement to the Missouri flag football team.
Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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Missouri flag football team holds undefeated title

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Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Joe Sewell, 16, from Blue Springs, Mo., rests after his team racks up another win. Sewell is the quarterback for the Missouri team and commented on its undefeated status, saying: “It feels freaking great, but it’s not over yet.”

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Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Jimmy Greenwood, a 20-year-old from Blue Springs, Mo., runs the football in a game against Arkansas.

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Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Missouri fans cheer their athletes to victory during the team’s final game of the day.

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Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Arthur Murphy celebrates his team’s final win of the day. Murphy is 51 years old and a member of the Missouri team.

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Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Missouri teammates celebrate with a chest bump after a winning game.

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Video by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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Missouri golfer poised for strong Special Olympics showing

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Missouri golfer Andy Martinez, 26, is a potential front-runner for an Olympic medal. But Martinez doesn’t let competition get in the way of his love of the game.



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