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North Dakota power lifter takes home three golds

July 23, 2010

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Powerlifter Ben Wahlstrand celebrates his gold medal on the podium after the competition.

Photo and story by: Emily Sallach, UNL

The only thing bigger than Ben Wahlstrand’s fan following was the smile on his face. 

Wahlstrand, from Grand Forks, N.D., had 16 fans with him on Tuesday morning at Kimball Hall.  These fans were friends and family from five different states.  Some family members traveled all the way from California and Arizona to watch him compete this week, and many other fans watched him from the live online stream. 

Wahlstrand has been involved with the Special Olympics for eight years but competed at a national level this year for the first time.  He started out in Special Olympics playing basketball and in the past three years found his talent for power lifting.

Wahlstrand’s family members could barely find the words to express how proud they are of him.  They talked about how he was an over-achiever and is always pushing to do better.  He holds two jobs and was the keynote speaker at his high school graduation.

When Wahlstrand was asked to compete at the 2010 Special Olympic USA National Games, he said he “humbly accepted” the opportunity. 

He said he likes power lifting because “it makes me feel good inside, but family is what really makes me a success here.  They give me something to believe in …”

Wahlstrand will travel back to North Dakota with not just one gold medal but two.  He collected a gold medal in bench press and dead lift, while his teammate Shale Erickson was right behind him with a silver in the same events. This also meant Walhstrand took home the gold for the combined bench and dead lift, raising his total to three on the day.

Wahlstrand said he enjoyed his week in Lincoln at the USA National Games and loved getting to watch the other athletes compete and, in his words, “do amazing things.” 

He credits his trainer Adam Sorum for getting him started in power lifting and Will Kuslerr for coaching him at the state-level games. 



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Partners invaluable to Special Olympic athletes

July 22, 2010

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Story: Kaitlin Arntz, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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Athletes show their pride at Opening Ceremony

July 20, 2010

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The Special Olympics flag being raised during the Opening Ceremony Sunday afternoon
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Photos arranged by Chelsey Criner at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Find pictures of your state: (all photos are by students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
Alabama
Photo by Andrea Evers
Alaska
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
Arizona
Photo by Dora Lopez
Arkansas
Photo by Dora Lopez
California
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
Colorado
Photo by Andrea Evers
Connecticut
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
District of Columbia
Photo by Dora Lopez
Deleware
Photo by Emily Sallach
Florida
Photo by Emily Sallach
Georgia
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
Idaho
Photo by Emily Sallach
Illinois
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
Indiana
Photos by Andrea Evers
Iowa
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
Kansas
Photo by Emily Sallach
Kentucky
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
Louisiana
Photo by Emily Sallach
Maine
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
Maryland
Photo by Emily Sallach
Massachusetts
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
Michigan
Photo by Andrea Evers
Minnesota
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
Mississippi
Photo by Emily Sallach
Missouri
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
Montana
Photo by Emily Sallach
Nebraska
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
Nevada
Photo by Emily Sallach
New Hampshire
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
New Jersey
Photo by Emily Sallach
New Mexico
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
New York
Photo by Andrea Evers
North Carolina
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
North Dakota
Photo by Emily Sallach
Ohio
Photo by Dora Lopez
Oklahoma
Photo by Emily Sallach
Oregon
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
Pennsylvania
Photo by Emily Sallach
Rhode Island
Photo by Emily Sallach
South Carolina
Photo by Emily Sallach
South Dakota
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
Tennessee
Photo by Dora Lopez
Texas
Photo by Emily Sallach
Utah
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
Vermont
Photo by Emily Sallach
Virginia
Photo by Emily Sallach
Washington
Photo by Andrea Evers
West Virginia
Photo by Chelsey Wahlstrom
Wisconsin
Photo by Emily Sallach
Wyoming
Photo by Dora Lopez



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Volleyball All Stars hit the court

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Athletes on the White All Stars team celebrate their win.

Photo: Amanda Schutz, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Rory Fox, coach of the Red All Stars, claps for athlete Ryan Landry of Texas as he is introduced to the crowd

Photo: Amanda Schutz, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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All Star Jackie Krei from Team North Dakota serves the ball.

Photo: Amanda Schutz, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Raishaun Holloway from Team Connecticut receives his certificate after winning the 2010 Special Olympics All Star volleyball game.

Photo: Amanda Schutz, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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Lifters power ahead in Games

Athletes Christy Robinson of Alabama, Kiri Less of Maryland, Shale Erickson of North Dakota and Joni Langley of Arkansas dazzle the crowds.

Video: Emily Sallach, UNL Edited by: Pat Radigan, UNL



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Runners kick off on day one of Games

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Matthew Bosch, Josue Riches and Kristy Coughlin claim the first gold medals in the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games.



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Bocce gets under way

July 19, 2010

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Photo: Michelle Hassler, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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Soccer kicks off

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The unified soccer division began Monday morning with a match between North Dakota and Arizona at the Ethel S. Abbott Sports Complex on July 19, 2010. Every soccer team will be evaluated during the first day’s games to determine the level of play and schedule.

Photo: Marcus Scheer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
For more photos by Marcus, check out his Flickr page here.
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A North Dakota soccer player waits to kick the ball while warming up before the first game.

Photo: Marcus Scheer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
For more photos by Marcus, check out his Flickr page here.
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A referee checks the cleats of the Arizona unified soccer team before the match against North Dakota.

Photo: Marcus Scheer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
For more photos by Marcus, check out his Flickr page here.
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Members of the Florida unified soccer team take a break before their game against Oregon.

Photo: Marcus Scheer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
For more photos by Marcus, check out his Flickr page here.
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