Emmett Abdo, a Philadelphia athlete was featured in SOAR’s 2019 edition. SOAR is the Special Olympics Athlete Review that gets published once a quarter by Special Olympics PA’s ALPS Coordinator. Emmett wrote an article titled Why I love Special Olympics.

Emmett shared his experiences with Special Olympics and how it shaped him to be the person and athlete he is today. He also gave readers what his next goals are. We’re rooting for you, Emmett! See below for his article. 

Why I love Special Olympics

Athlete, Emmett Abdo with TDY’s Bennett

Hi, my name is Emmett Abdo. I have been participating in Special Olympics for 17 years and have loved every moment of it! Swimming is my favorite sport; however, I also participate in soccer, tennis and basketball. Like many athletes, Special Olympics has helped me feel more confident and strive to do my very best in both sports and life. One example I’m proud of would be that it helped me get a job as a Bellhop at a Holiday Inn Express. Recently, I was asked to speak at the Leprechaun Run with my fellow Philly athletes Lisa Barbour and Charlie Zisette. For those that aren’t familiar, the Leprechaun Run is one of Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s fundraisers. Since I love speaking in front of large crowds, I decided that I wanted to be trained as a Global Messenger. As an athlete, I feel it’s important that not only I share with others what Special Olympics has meant for me, but also explain to others how they can help make a difference in  the lives of myself and the 20,000 other athletes throughout Pennsylvania.

My next biggest goal is to qualify for the 2022 USA Games in Orlando. Additionally, once I am trained as a Global Messenger, I would also like to be able to co-emcee Opening Ceremonies at Fall Festival.

I always enjoy telling others that just a little bit of their time or money can go a long way towards making a difference!

Emmett Abdo is an athlete in Philadelphia County and has been participating in Special Olympics for 17 years. Outside of Special Olympics, Emmett enjoys watching American Idol, America’s Got Talent and Dancing with the Stars as well as going to Reading Terminal Market.

athletes, If you would like to be featured in an upcoming edition of SOAR:

Share Your Story: If you would like to share a story on Summer Games, World Games or any other recent Special Olympics experiences, please e-mail Jordan Schubert at jschubert@specialolympicspa.org

On Sunday, October 14th, our athletes took a drive to DeSales University for the 2018 Eastern Fall Sectional. Athletes from Area P, Berks County, Bethlehem County, Bucks County, Carbon County, Chester County, Columbia/ Montour, Delaware County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Luzerne County, Monroe County, Montgomery County, Northumberland – Snyder Counties, Philadelphia County, Schuylkill County and the host county, Lehigh County, filled the football stadium in anticipation of a wonderful day of competition ahead. Every athlete had one thing on their mind, securing a spot at the fall state games – Fall Festival.

Opening Ceremonies kicked off with opening remarks from Dr. Berg and Chloe Phillips. Dr. Berg announced the theme for the day was Board Games in order to encourage everyone to take a chance and climb the ladder.   Next, the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard was welcomed to do the presentation of colors followed by the DeSales University Choir who beautifully sang the National Anthem. Eric Cushing, Vice President of Development for Special Olympics Pennsylvania, was introduced once the National Anthem ended in order to thank and do a Check Presentation with the Billy Frost Concert Committee. After this was completed, Dr. Berg took over again and welcomed Global Messenger, Ashley Bressler from Columbia/ Montour to speak about her experience with Special Olympics PA and how she enjoys competing. The DeSales University Dance Team then took over in a wonderful performance followed by Father Kevin who led everyone in prayer. Chloe and Dr. Berg took over again and led the coaches and athletes in their oaths. Once this was finished, the lighting of the Flame of Hope occurred, and was carried by athletes from Lehigh County, Officer Mettin and officers from the DeSales University Police Department as a symbol for officers around the world being guardians of the flame. The Flame of Hope is a symbol of Special Olympics and represents the determination of all athletes. Finally, Chloe declared the 2018 Special Olympics Pennsylvania Eastern Fall Sectional officially open.

Over 800 athletes were led by 350 coaches and over 400 volunteers in games where they went head to head with one another and showcased their athletic abilities. Athletes competed in Bocce (Doubles and Unified Sports Doubles), Long Distance Running/ Walking, Powerlifting, Soccer (11 v 11, Skills, 7 v 7, 5 v 5 Unified Sports) and Volleyball (Team and Individual Skills). This was the first year we have a Unified Team (Strykers) who made their competition debut at the Area M Fall Sports Classic. Once the games were completed, all of our Soccer teams, Volleyball Skills athletes and Bocce teams had secured a spot in the state event.

Congratulations to all those teams and athletes we can’t wait to see what you do at Fall Festival!

Join the Social Conversation

Facebook Event Page | #SOPAFallEast


In The News:

October 14, 2018: Julia Rose for 69wfmz News: Hundreds of Special Olympics athletes compete in Lehigh County event



Bocce Doubles
Kevin Karcher & Pam Galone 1st Place
Tracey McGarvey & John Kulpa 1st Place
Kirstyn Cantres & Christina DiVergilis 2nd Place

Head Coach Carol Canady and Assistant Coaches Michelle Angerman

Team Name
Philly Stars (5v5)
Allison Davidson, Danny Amrik, Jackie Lutts, Emmett Abdo, Lisa Barbour, Kristie Walls, Michael Weinberg, David Brent Williams Head Coach Charles Abdo, Assistant Coaches Ronald Atkins Sr,  3rd Place
Stykers (Unified 7v7)

Brian Oldakowski, Ryan Milanaik, Joseph Rynkiewicz, Matthew Grabowski, Ryan Bogan, Michael Luciani, Brian Stulz, Hailey Hurst, Angel Rodriguez, Jonathon Boback

Head Coach Gary Bixby, Assistant Coaches Samuel Fioravanti Sr,  1st Place
United (7v7)
Charles Zisette, Mitchel Stahl, Sam Fioravanti Jr, Danny Charlton, Carl Irvis, Jesse Rose, Jason Bixby, Ian Capacio, Michael Castillo, Justin Martinez, Hope Anderson Head Coach Walt Beckman, Assistant Coaches Karen Aviso, Jacqueline Bixby, Michelle Lebron 4th Place


Team Name
Special Stars
Derrick Jackson, Teddy Angerman, Ray Anderson, James Shelton, Stanley Dluzniewski, Kelly Dluzniewski, Allison Ruitzer, Carlyn Robinson, Sharon Quarles, Francis Bradshaw Head Coach Rosemary Duffy, Assistant Coach Andy Delworth, Jon Garvey 3rd Place


Volleyball Skills:
Cyla Bradshaw 1st Place
Marissa Williams 3rd Place

Head Coach Monica Bradshaw


Our three Philadelphia soccer teams made their season debut at the 2018 Fall Sports Classic. This event was hosted by Special Olympics PA – Area M on Sunday, September 16th in Hershey, PA. Over 800 Special Olympics athletes from across PA competed in Bocce, Long Distance Running/Walking, Powerlifting, Soccer, and Volleyball for the 15th Annual Fall Sports Classic. The event was based at four different locations in the Hershey area. Hershey High School hosted powerlifting and volleyball, Hershey Middle School hosted volleyball, Founders Field hosted LDR/W and soccer, and Hershey Italian Lodge hosted bocce

It was the perfect day for our soccer teams to make their debut, clear and sunny with a nice breeze to ensure our athlete didn’t get too hot. Our three soccer teams, Philly United, Strykers, and Stars and Stripes gave a strong showing as they went head-to-head with their competitors. This is the first time Philadelphia has had a Unified Soccer Team participate in the Community Program. A unified team means individuals with and without intellectual disabilities train and compete together. Through training and competing together, friendships and a mutual respect are born between both athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities). Parents, coaches, and fans were excited to get outside and cheer on our teams as they made it one step closer to the end goal – state games, aka, Fall Festival.


Philly United (7v7)
Walt Beckman Charles Zisette, Mitchel Stahl, Sam Fioravanti Jr, Danny Charlton, Carl Irvis, Jesse Rose, Jason Bixby, Ian Capacio, Michael Castillo, Justin Martinez, Hope Anderson 2nd
Strykers (Unified 7v7)
Stacy Plumbo Brian Oldankowski, Ryan Milanaik, Joseph Rynkiewicz, Matthew Grabowski, Ryan Bogan, Michael Luciani, Brian Stulz, Hailey Hurst, Angel Rodriguez, Jonathon Boback 2nd
Stars and Stripes (5v5)
Charles Abdo Allison Davidson, Danny Amrik, Jackie Lutts, Emmett Abdo, Lisa Barbour, Kristie Walls, Michael Weinberg, David Brent Williams 2nd

Brandywine Realty Trust hosted the First Ever Philly Plunge Kickoff on Wednesday, August 8th at the Commerce Square Court Yard. Music, water ice, and beach balls were all the things necessary to cool off from the hot day where temperatures were reaching the low nineties. Brandywine Realty Trust helped us excite people for the Philadelphia Polar Plunge that will be held on November 30th at Drexel University’s Recreation Center (3301 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104) between 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Unlike the Kickoff, the weather during the Philadelphia Polar Plunge will hopefully be a brisk day where brave souls will jump into a freezing pool and be #FreezinForAReason. The Philadelphia Polar Plunge is Philadelphia’s premiere fundraiser, where the goal is to raise funds for all of our programming as well as awareness for our athletes and programs.

PJ Brown & Her Resistance headlined the event on a stage that was centered in the courtyard. As people flowed in and out of the courtyard for lunch, Kristin Lewis, author of You Are Special, was also on-site selling her book and signing copies! Music, snacks, and books were outside and if attendees wanted to cool off, they had to look no further than Pagano’s Market & Bar who ran a drink special to support the Philadelphia Polar Plunge. In addition to the fun, Brandywine Realty Trust and Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia had raffles that attendees could win. The hot day couldn’t contain the enthusiasm of Special Olympics staff, who were there to help answer questions about the Philly Plunge and share their experiences. As the event continued, people were chatting about the plunge and ideas were popping into everyone’s minds for costumes, business wear and ways to help out Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia. The kickoff was not only a success but it reminded everyone that with all of us together that we can create a community of love and inclusion for all.

Thank you to Brandywine Realty Trust, PJ Brown & Her Resistance, Kristin Lewis, and Pagano’s Market & Bar for their support of the Philly Plunge!

For more information on the Philadelphia Plunge, click here. To register for this year’s Philly Plunge, click here.


The 2018 TD Campaign marked the 10th anniversary of a partnership between TD Bank and Special Olympics. TD Bank set a goal of raising $1,000,000 for Special Olympics programs throughout their footprint on the east coast of the United States from Maine to Florida. The six-week campaign ran from Monday, May 14th to Friday, June 22nd. During the campaign, TD asks members of their community to help support Special Olympics programs and this year continued their trading card tradition. Philadelphia was lucky to have an athlete, Michael Younkers, featured on one of these cards.

During the campaign, Philadelphia athletes visited the twenty-two branches across the Philadelphia region and meet employees, took tours, worked the counters, and interacted with customers. Our athletes loved sharing their triumphs and experiences with everyone and the TD employees loved getting to know our athletes and hanging out with them in return.

To cap off the campaign, the Philadelphia commercial teams hosted Philadelphia athletes at their offices for a meet and greet. Since commercial teams typically don’t get athlete visits, this was a special treat for them. Athletes and TD employees alike got together for lunch where TD employees learned more about Special Olympics and our mission and local program. After learning about Special Olympics, TD employees got to mix and mingle with our athletes to learn more about them, their experiences, and what makes them who they are.

When all was said and done, TD finished strong and surpassed their $1,000,000 goal.


It was a beautiful day, perfect to be outside for Track and Field Championships held at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 26th. In their first appearance at the state championships, MLK Wins 2018 PIAA State Track & Field Championship in the Special Olympics Division. Martin Luther King’s Unified Team joined their varsity team on the journey to Shippensburg University – and even donned the same school shirt as the varsity team. To get here, Martin Luther King’s Unified Track & Field team competed in two local tournaments against other Philadelphia schools and then won the Philadelphia Track & Field Championship. 

Sophomore India Grierson, Sophomore Precious Ford, Junior Maurice Griffin, Senior Ojay Harris, Sophomore Zhaire Harris-White, Junior Jasir Newsome, Senior Dante Young-Connor, Sophomore Isaiah Collins, Junior Shaheed Cooper, Sophomore Augustus Hill Jr, Sophomore Malik Jones, Sophomore Nagid Sawyer, and Junior Jalen Williams made up Martin Luther King’s Unified Team. Athletes and partners competed in the 100-Meter Dash, 400-Meter Race, 800-Meter Race,  Shot-put, Mini-Javelin, and the 4×100-Meter Relay. MLK took an early lead after the 100-Meter Dash and held on to the lead throughout the championship. 

Congratulations, Martin Luther King! We look forward to what your next season brings!


For all photos from the event, click here.


Team Results

Place School Final Score
1st Place Martin Luther King High School (Philadelphia) 76
2nd Place Red Lion High School 63
3rd Place McDowell High School 60
4th Place Souderton Area High School (Montgomery) 56
5th Place General McLane High School 51
6th Place Brashear High School 44


Individual Event Results

100 Meter Dash
Year in School First Name Final Time Place 
Freshman Denim Morris    
Senior Ojay Harris 15.97 1
Senior Dandre Young-Connor 17.93  
Sophomore Isaiah Collins 13.82 2
Sophomore Nagid Sawyer 12.78 1
Sophomore Augustus Hill Jr 14.14  
Sophomore Malik Jones    
Junior Jalen Williams 11.88 1
400 Meter Race
Year in School First Name Final Time Place 
Sophomore Precious Ford 01:21.7 1
Junior Maurice Griffin 1:29.94  
Sophomore India Grierson 1:28.60  
Sophomore Zhaire Harris-White 1:16.07  
Junior Jasir Newsome 1:01.41 1
800 Meter Race

Junior, Shaheed Cooper, 2:24.89, 2nd Place

Shot Put
Year in School First Name Best Put Place
Senior Dandre Young-Connor 21 1
Junior Shaheed Cooper 27.5 1
Sophomore Augustus Hill Jr 32.4 1
Senior Ojay Harris 46.6 1
Mini JAv
Year in School First Name Best Throw Place
Sophomore Zhaire Harris-White 29.9 1
Sophomore India Grierson 32.11 3
Junior Maurice Griffin 40.6 2
Sophomore Precious Ford 42.6 1
Junior Jasir Newsome 29.1  
Junior Jalen Williams 43.11  
Sophomore Isaiah Collins 71.11 1
Sophomore Nagid Sawyer 74.11 2


4×100 Meter Relay
Jasir Newsome (Junior), Maurice Griffin (Junior), Isaiah Collins (Sophomore), Nagid Sawyer (Sophomore) 54.61 1st Place



Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia’s 2018 Unified Track & Field Championship was held on Monday, May 7, 2018, at the South Philadelphia Supersite. It was the perfect day to celebrate our athletes, partners and coaches and all the hard work they put on during the 2018 IUS Track & Field season. Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia Director, Chase Trimmer, kicked things off by welcoming everyone to the event and announcing the winning school would get a chance to compete at the PIAA Track and Field Championship in Shippensburg, PA. After some welcoming remarks, the five schools entered through the parade of athletes. Schools participating in the second annual Philadelphia Unified Track & Field Championship included George Washington High School. Hill Freedman, Martin Luther King High School, Northeast High School and host South Philadelphia High School. Special Olympics PA Board Member, Tony Gillespie joined us for the day and offered luck to all athletes and partners competing. Margaret Lasseter and Tra Griffin from South Philadelphia then lead the athletes and partners in the Special Olympics athlete oath of “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt. Following the athlete oath, Coach Regina Johnson from Martin Luther King High School lead the coaches in the Coaches Oath of “I promise that we shall, take part in these Special Olympics games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them. In the true spirit of sportsmanship. For the glory of sport and the honor of our teams.” After Margaret and Tra came back up to officially declare the Unified Track and Field Championship open, the crowd erupted in applause and athletes and partners got ready to compete.

The 100-meter dash kicked off the Championship. As athletes raced down the track, South Philadelphia’s cheerleading squad was there to cheer them onto strong finishes. The 100-meter dash was followed by the 400-meter race and the 800-meter race which showcased the long distance runners of each school. After these track events, athletes split up to participate in one of three field events – long jump, mini javelin, or shotput. Each field event saw some great jumps and throws by both athletes and partners alike, with some creating a new personal record for themselves. 


Individual Results

School Key:

GW – George Washington High School, HF – Hill Freedman, MLK – Martin Luther King High School, NE – Northeast High School, SP – South Philadelphia High School

100 Meter Dash
School A/P Name Time Place
SP Partner Tracesaan Griffin 12.06 1
HF Partner Darius Hunter-McLean 14.28 3
NE Partner Fransico Correia 13.41 2
HF Partner Kayla Marshall 14.78 6
HF Athlete Tahlik Moon 12.12 1
HF Partner Justice Saunders 14 5
NE Partner Pedro Alicea 12.2 2
HF   Keith Jones 12.53 3
NE Partner Caio Desouza 12.17 4
SP Partner Vaten Pridgen 13.8 3
GW Athlete Ryan Caldwell 14.91 4
HF Partner Aniya Gentles 13.79 2
SP Athlete Nasir Martin 13.63 1
GW Athlete Joseph McGinley 14.91 4
GW Athlete Johnathan Aguliera 15.46 3
MLK Athlete Semaj Glover 13.69 2
SP Athlete Maragret Lassiter 15.63 4
NE Partner Andra Silva 12.37 1
NE Athlete Samirah Stevens 15.5 1
HF Partner Destiny Goldmas 15.79 2
MLK Athlete Ludiner Chery 17.29 3
GW Athlete Aaron Wilson 16.16 1
MLK Athlete Dandre Young-Conner 19.66 5
NE Athlete Maria Trinidad 16.28 3
GW Athlete Nicholas Delgado 16.2 2
NE Athlete Alysha Hawkins 17.54 4
GW Athlete Kassim Rollerson 19.13 5
GW Athlete Brandon Taylor 17.07 2
GW Athlete Jordan Scott 17.85 4
MLK Athlete Ojay Harris 15.79 1
GW Athlete Dominic Maffei 17.72 3
GW Athlete Anthony Le 21.28 6
GW Athlete Oluwasegen Sodeke 21.28 3
GW Athlete Zachary Zimri 20.16 2
HF Partner Jihara Richardson 16.78 1
NE Athlete Karen Luong 25.9 5
NE Athlete John Zhen 22.34 4
HF Athlete Khyree Scott 29.72 3
NE Athlete Chris Chandler 21.91 1
NE Athlete Savanah Ayala 22.12 2
NE Athlete Adam Loai 30.63 4
NE Athlete Falu Anthony 32.37 5
GW Athlete Mitchell Cafolla 41.43 6


400 Meter Run
School A/P Name Time Place
MLK Athlete Jasir Newsome 1:02 2
SP Partner Ibrahim Cisse-Karamoko 1:00 1
MLK Partner Thomas Bell 1:05.22 1
HF Athlete Russell Shelton 1:08 3
HF Partner Ariel Odom 1:19.00 4
SP Athlete Reggie Blanton 1:06.78 2
GW Athlete Peter Pulukchu 1:17.28 2
GW Athlete Ronald Pierre 1:24.63 3
GW Athlete Faheem Rucker 1:16.15 1
HF Partner Jasmine Addison 1:28.72 4
GW Athlete Kwesi Quainoo 1:08.34 1
MLK Athlete Zhaire Harris White 1:16.00 4
GW Athlete Juan Espinosa 1:08.38 2
MLK Partner Nagid Sawyer 1:13.28 3
MLK Athlete Maurice Griffin 1:18.81 1
HF Partner Christian Moreno 1:22.97 3
HF Athlete Laurance Warner 1:20.34 2
MLK Athlete India Grierson 1:31.50 4
HF Athlete Iyana Sipes 1:31.84 2
GW Athlete Leyla Kamilova 1:43.06 3
MLK Partner Taylor Calloway 1:29.50 1
GW Athlete Elizabeth Vicario 1:43.66 1
SP Athlete Joseph Polizzi 2:28.43 4
NE Athlete Uwase Mutoni 1:45.32 2
GW Athlete Daika Douze 2:00.00 3
MLK Athlete Trevor Thompson 3:10.00 6
NE Athlete Samuel Godoi 3:08.85 5


800 Meter Race
School A/P Name Time Place
SP Partner Arisode Intwali 2:24.86 1
NE Athlete Isais Aponte 3:22.42 1
MLK Athlete Precious Ford 3:40.60 3
SP Athlete Charles Galvani 3:36.76 2


4×100 Relay
Teams Time Place
GW 2 1:06.50 4
GW 1 1:03.97 3
SP 1 :58.34 1
HF 1 1:01.75 2
MLK 1 (Boys) 1:07.91 2
HF 2 1:08.34 3
NE 1 1:07.50 1


4×400 Relay
Team Times Place
GW 1 4:38.41 1
MLK 1 5:26.90 3
SP 1 4:56.41 2
NE 1 5:40.03 4


Long Jump
School A/P Name 1st Attempt 2nd Attempt 3rd Attempt Place
GW Athlete Joseph McGinley 6′ 4.5″ 4′ 8″ F 2
SP Partner Abudullah Ali 7′ 11″ 7′ 7′ 4″ 1
GW Athlete Peter Pulukchu F 10′ 9.5″ 9′ 2″ 2
GW Athlete Faheem Rucker F 10′ 10″ 11′ 1.5″ 1
HF Partner Kayla Marshall 9′ 9.5″ 10′ 2″ 9′ 4″ 3
GW Athlete Juan Espinosa 9′ 9″ 11′ 7″ 12′ 4″ 3
MLK Partner Taylor Calloway 7′ 11″ 8′ F 4
GW Athlete Kwesi Quainoo 13′ 3″ 14′ 14′ 9″ 2
MLK Partner Thomas Bell 14′ 15′ 3″ 14′ 7.5″ 1


Mini Javelin
School A/P Name 1st Attempt 2nd Attempt 3rd Attempt Place
GW Partner Mitchell Cafolla F 4′ 6″ F 5
GW Partner Anthony Le 6′ 6″ F 17′ 3″ 2
HF Athlete Khyree Scott 9′ 8″ 7′ 10″ 5′ 8″ 3
GW Partner Oluwasegen Sodeke F 8′ 11″ 8′ 5″ 4
NE Partner Matisse Barrett 20′ 11″ 24′ 8″ 26′ 5″ 1
MLK Athlete Zhaire Harris White 22′ 4″ 20′ 4″ 15′ 4″ 3
GW Partner Jordan Scott F 32′ 11″ 21′ 4″ 1
MLK Athlete Trevor Thompson F 23′ 5″ 23′ 7″ 2
NE Athlete John Zhen 11′ 8″ 15′ 3″ F 4
MLK Athlete India Grerson 23′ 9″ F 10′ 2″ 2
HF Athlete Laurance Warner 22′ 7″ 22′ 4″ F 3
HF Partner Sammy Donnie 26′ 7″ 28′ 7″ 21′ 2″ 1
HF Athlete Tahlik Moon 54′ 3″ 39′ 8″ 44′ 10″ 1
SP Athlete Alvin 34′ 7″ 23′ 2″ F 2
GW Athlete Ronald Pierre 19′ 8″ F F 4
GW Athlete Kassim Rollerson 22.7″ 23′ 11″ 24′ 11″ 3
MLK Athlete Maurice Griffin F F F P
GW Athlete Aaron Wilson 28′ 7″ 21′ 6″ 23′ 6″ 3
GW Partner Tiffany Sourovelis 19′ 9″ 18′ 5″ 21′ 4″ 4
MLK Athlete Precious Ford 24′ 11″ 34′ 11″ 27′ 4″ 1
GW Athlete Leyla Kamilova 32′ 8″ 29′ 6″ 27′ 4″ 2
SP Athlete Antonio Burnett 22′ 4″ 36′ 10″ 39′ 11″ 4
GW Partner Yesenia Lebron F 44′ 5″ 41′ 10″ 3
MLK Athlete Jasir Newsome 25′ 9″ 24′ 7″ 36′ 9″ 5
HF Partner Christian Moreno 58′ 7″ 60′ 7″ 63′ 5″ 1
HF Partner Justice Saunders F 50′ 3″ 47′ 10″ 2
MLK Athlete Semaj Glover 27′ 11″ F F 4
HF Partner Destiny Goldmas 37′ 7″ 46′ 10″ 32′ 4″ 3
SP Athlete Andre Thach 40′ 7″ 34′ 1″ 56′ 3″ 1
GW Athlete Johnathan Aguliera 38′ 9″ 53′ 11″ 54′ 3″ 2
HF Athlete Mike Ellis 58′ 7″ F 73′ 5″ 1
NE Athlete Jordan Ganges 57′ 9″ 29′ 6″ 41′ 3
MLK Partner Isaiah Collins 69′ 5″ 57′ 5″ 60′ 6″ 2
NE Partner Fransico Correia 70′ 8″ 74′ 9″ 74′ 2″ 2
HF   Keith Jones F 57′ 6″ 51′ 5″ 4
NE Partner Andra Silva 57′  F 70′ 3″ 3
MLK Partner Nagid Sawyer 47′ 1″ 78′ 2″ 66′ 3″ 1


School A/P Name 1st Attempt 2nd Attempt 3rd Attempt Place
HF Athlete Mark Robbins 5′ 11″ 5′ 10″ 5′ 3″ 4
NE Athlete Chris Chandler 7′ 1″ 8′ 1″ 7′  3
GW Athlete Brandon Taylor 7′ 7″ 9′ 11″ 11′ 11″ 2
GW Athlete Elizabeth Vicario 12′ 1″ 14′  15′ 5″ 1
GW Partner Dominic Maffei 13′ 9″ 12′ 9″ 12′ 5″ 5
NE Athlete Adam Loai 14′ 3″ F 15′ 10″ 3
NE Athlete Samirah Stevens 15′ 11″ 15′ 9″ 15′ 8″ 2
MLK Athlete Ludiner Chery 20′  18′ 11″ 19′ 3″ 1
HF Partner Jihara Richardson 14′ 7″ 14′ 6″ 14′ 11 ‘ 4
HF Athlete Sean Washington 17′  17′ 1″ 21′ 1″ 3
MLK Athlete Dandre Young-Conner 16′ 5″ 18′ 11″ 18′ 5″ 5
HF Partner Aniya Gentles 16′  17′ 5″ 21′ 4″ 2
GW Athlete Zachary Zimri 18′ 5″ 19′ 2″ 17′ 6″ 4
GW Athlete Nicholas Delgado 23′ 4″ 22′ 1″ 21′ 3″ 1
HF Partner Eiyreana Alford 19′ 9″ 22′  21′ 4″ 3
NE Athlete Isais Aponte 21′  22′  22′ 1″ 4
SP Athlete Matthew Webb 22′ 2″ 24′  20′ 3″ 2
MLK Athlete OJ Harris 45′ 10″ 43′ 9″ 43′ 5″ 1
HF Athlete Mikhale Chisolm Brown 33′ 1″ 28′ 7″ 33′ 11″ 4
SP Partner Arturo Jimenez 36′ 7″ 37′ 6″ 36′ 8″ 3
NE Partner Caio Desouza 37′ 5″ 34′ 7″ 37′ 9″ 2
HF Partner Darius Hunter-McLean 43′ 4″ 44′ 9″ 45′ 8″ 1


The 2018 Penn Relays was the 128th running of the relays and featured athletes from more than 200 colleges, 1,000 high schools, & professionals competing in the three-day festival. Special Olympics was represented by delegations from Pennsylvania, Florida, New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusets. Besides Philadelphia, other counties representing PA included Bucks, Carbon, Lehigh and Montgomery. Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia sent students and partners from South Philadelphia High School to compete in the 4×100 Special Olympics Relay and the 4×100 Special Olympics Unified Relay. In addition to the relays, one athlete competed in the 100-meter dash. 

The Penn Relays took place from Thursday, April 26th to Saturday, April 28th. Special Olympics delegations met outside of Franklin field on Friday, April 27th and headed to Penn’s campus to get some last minute practice in before heading to the big stage. 


Event Athlete(s)/Partners Time Place
100M Dash Margaret Lassiter  :15.94 1st
4×100 Relay Antonio Burnett, Marquan White, Nasir Martin, Margaret Lassiter  1:07.31  9th
4×100 Unified Relay

Aristode Intwali, Alvin Huynh, Nyheem Erwin, Tracesaan Griffen


For all Special Olympics results, click here.

2018 IUS Soccer Season consisted of four league play days at various high schools to prepare students for the championship in late May. Ten high schools participated in this years soccer season. Schools included

AUD- Audenreid (lt blue), FRNK- Frankford (red), GW- George Washington (blue, navy), SAY – Sayre High School (white), TE- Thomas Edison (green)

AL- Abraham Lincoln, FURN- Furness, KHSA- Kensington Health Sciences, MLK- Martin Luther King, SOF- School of the Future

The Philadelphia IUS Soccer Championship is on Wednesday, May 30th at George Washington High School.

League Play Day 1

Abraham Lincoln High School hosted the first league play day after the original date was postponed due to snow. The first League Play Day was held on Wednesday, March 28th, it was a little chilly, but the sky was clear and the ground was free from snow. Lincoln High School welcomed Furness High School, Kensington Health Sciences High School, Martin Luther King High School, and School of the Future. As teams arrived, Lincolns students were ready to welcome them to their school with high-fives and warm greetings. Besides competition, every team got to participate in training – regardless if they played in the player development model or competitive model. 


Field 1

Field 2

Field 3

Round 1

SOF 1 (2) v AL 1 (4)

MLK 2 (2) v AL 2 (2)

FURN 2 (0) v KHSA 1 (5)

Round 2 


FURN 1 (2) v AL 2 (0)

KHSA 2 (4) v SOF 2 (1)

Round 3

MLK 1 (2) v SOF 1 (1)

KHSA 1 (5)  v MLK 2 (0)

SOF 2 (1) v FURN 2 (0)

Round 4

AL 1 (2) v MLK 1 (2)

KHSA 2 (3) v FURN 1 (4)


AL- Abraham Lincoln, FURN- Furness, KHSA- Kensington Health Sciences, MLK- Martin Luther King, SOF- School of the Future

League Play Day 2

After rescheduling due to weather, the second IUS Soccer league play day turned out to be the perfect day for soccer. The sun was shining and there was a slight breeze in the air. Frankford High School hosted Audenreid Charter, Geroge Washington High School, Sayre High School and Thomas Edison High School. Athletes, partners, coaches, and volunteers alike were excited to get the day started as the schools participating in this league play day were anxious to get their season started. To kick things off, Frankford High School Color Guard presented the colors as the national anthem was played over the loudspeaker. After the colors were presented, a few quick announcements were made and Frankford’s mascot even stopped by to say hello to the teams and support the home team. Like the first league play day, players participated in player development or competitive model training. 


Field 1

Field 2

Field 3

Round 1

AUD 1 (1) v GW 1

TE 1 (1) v FRNK 1 (0)

SAY 1 (3) v TE 2 (0)

Round 2


SAY 2 (3)  v GW 2 (1)

AUD 2 (3) v FRNK 2 (0)

Round 3

AUD 1 (2) v FRNK 1 (1)

SAY 1 (2) v GW 2 (1)

TE 2 ( 1) v AUD 2 (2)

Round 4

GW 1 (1) v TE 1 (0)

FRNK 2 (2) v SAY 2 (5)


AUD- Audenreid (lt blue), FRNK- Frankford (red), GW- George Washington (blue, navy), SAY – Sayre High School (white), TE- Thomas Edison (green)


League Play Day 3

Thomas Edison High School hosted Abraham Lincoln, Frankford High School, George Washington High School, and Kensington Health Sciences on Tuesday, April 24th. It was the perfect day to be outside, especially after the first two league play days were postponed due to snow. The sun was shining, and along Edison’s track was a tree in bloom where it snowed petals. Everyone much preferred this “snow” to the earlier snowstorm in the season. After everyone arrived, Thomas Edison’s Junior ROTC, led by Cadet Bullock, presented the colors and Cadet Vega sang the National Anthem. 


Field 1
Field 2
Round 1 

TE 1 (0) v GW 1 (5)

FRNK 2 (1) v GW 2 (4)

Round 2 

KHSA 2 v TE 2


Round 3

GW 1 v FRNK 1

KHSA 2 v GW 2

Round 4

FRNK 1 v TE 1

TE 2 v KHSA 1


League Play Day 4

School of the Future hosted the last League Play Day on April 26th. Although the weather wasn’t as warm as the third league play day, it was just as sunny with a breeze keeping steady throughout the day. Audenried, Furness High School, Martin Luther King High School, and Sayre High School joined School of the Future to round out the last of the league play days. To welcome the other schools, School of the Future had their drum line out and they were ready to pump up the athletes and partners as they prepared for their games.


Field 1


Field 2

Player Dev.

Field 3

Player Dev.

Round 1

AUD 1 v SOF 1

AUD 2 (1) v MLK 2 (1)

FURN 1 v SAY 1

Round 2

SOF 1 v MLK 1

SAY 2 v SOF 2

MLK 2 v FURN 2

Round 3

MLK 1 v AUD 1

SAY 1 v AUD 2

SOF 2 v FURN 1

Round 4


FURN 2 v SAY 2


AUD- Audenried (light blue), FURN- Furness (orange), MLK- Martin Luther King (purple), SAY- Sayre (white), SOF- School of the Future (grey)


After a weather postponement, Unified Bocce teams from George Washington High School and Hill-Freedman World Academy made their way to Camp Hill, PA on Friday, March 23 for the 2018 Interscholastic Unified Indoor Bocce State Championship. Both teams qualified for the championship after placing first in their respective divisions in the Philadelphia City Championship earlier in the season. This year, eleven high school teams advanced from seven regions of the state.  Like Geroge Washington and Hill-Freedman, each school earned a spot in this event by winning their county or city championships. Our two Philadelphia teams joined the Rochester Rams and Central Valley Warriors who represented Beaver, the Upper Dauphin Trojans who represented Dauphin, the Haverford Fords who represented Delaware, the Grove City Eagles and West Middlesex Big Reds who represented Mercer, North Penn Knights who represented Montgomery, and the North Penn Liberty Mounties who represented Tioga counties. 

During the Opening Ceremony, Mike Handleman, joined the head coach from North Penn Liberty High School, Carissa Flook, to lead the coaches in the Special Olympics Coaches Oath. Right before the Games were declared open, John Gombocz, Special Education Advisor for the PA Dept. of Education took to a bocce court to roll out our first ceremonial ball. George Washington and Hill-Freedman faced off each other in the first game with George Washington taking the win with a score of 12-2. In the next game, George Washington faced North Penn High School and lost 3-7. Hill-Freedman went up against West Middlesex High School and lost 4-11. The last round would determine where teams would end up on the podium. George Washington faced North Penn Liberty in hopes to make it to the podium with a bronze medal. Unfortunate, Geroge Washington lost in the last frame with the final score being 5-7. On the other side of the arena, Hill Freedman played Haverford High School for 7th place and ended up losing 2-10. In the end, Hill-Freedman walked away with the eighth place ribbon and Geroge Washington walked away with the fourth place ribbon. Congratulations to both schools, the athletes, partners and coaches on all of your hard work and making it to the state championships. You all truly live out the vision of Unified.

George Washington Eagles Hill-Freedman High School
Alyssa Henry, Senior
Kaitlyn Pemper, Senior
Karen Hua, Senior
Faheem Rucker, Junior
Nikolas Feaster, Junior
Isaiah Jackson, Junior
Perla Ayala, Sophomore
Ivri McDaniel, Sophomore
Yvonne Schwiker, Coach
Lori Solomon, Coach
Conrad Edwards, Senior
Sean Washington, Senior
Laurance Warner, Senior
Mark Robbins, Senior
Justice Saunders, Junior
Justin Berry, Junior
Anniya Gentles, Freshman
Jibard Richardson, Freshman
Mike Handelman, Coach
Joseph Moore, Coach



For all photos from the event from Photography by Dane, click here.