On Friday, June 29, 36 athletes and 14 coaches from all over the state of New Hampshire headed off to Seattle, Washington for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. Among them was Andover Resident, Gregor Makechnie who is an assistant basketball coach for Team New Hampshire.
Team New Hampshire joined thousands of Special Olympics athletes and coaches from across the nation, along with tens of thousands of volunteers, family members and fans, for a week of special events and competitions in 14 team and individual sports. Team New Hampshire athletes will be competing in seven Olympics-type sports which are aquatics, athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling, golf, and powerlifting.
Makechnie, who is the Athletic Director and a basketball coach at Proctor Academy, has been a volunteer for Special Olympics for about 5 years. Makechnie stated that he gets great joy from working with these athletes “who bring such great joy, enthusiasm and excitement to each practice and game.” Makechnie also explained that the athletes are extremely competitive, but they support each other and are happy for whatever team ends up winning.
The USA Games are supported by tens of thousands of volunteers and the team was taken care of by these volunteers at every step of the way.
Makechnie said it was amazing to march in the parade of athletes with thousands of people cheering, ringing cowbells and making the athletes feel very special.
Special Olympics New Hampshire (SONH) is an accredited program of Special Olympics International (SOI) and is part of an international global movement that changes lives by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. To learn more, visit www.sonh.org.