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Click each state to learn about a rising star in Special Olympics’ Young Athletes Program!
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Click each state to learn about a rising star in Special Olympics' Young Athletes Program!

Visit surrounding states to meet
Young Athletes from your area!
Age 4
Chugiak, Alaska
Gianna couldn't be more thrilled to learn new activities and sports in the Young Athletes Program. She likes scoring goals in soccer, shooting hoops on the basketball court and soaring down the mountain on her skis! Above all else, Gianna loves playing with her sister (and sports hero!), from jumping on the trampoline together, to practicing their gymnastics skills, or even wrestling with each other!
Age 7
Phoenix, Arizona
Jake's favorite Young Athletes Program activities include swimming, bowling and baseball because he likes to race in the pool, knock down pins and smash the baseball. As an avid baseball player, Jake enjoys rooting for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and his favorite player, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. He also spends time playing with his Scooby Doo toys - he loves the Mystery Gang!
Age 4
Moro, Arkansas
Cooper has an affinity for any sport that involves a ball - from basketball to football to soccer! He participated in the long jump at the 2013 Special Olympics Summer Games in Arkansas and loved jumping in the sand over and over again! When he's not competing, you'll find Cooper cheering on his big sister at her sporting competitions and rooting for his favorite team, the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Age 7
Redondo Beach, California
Owen loves the obstacle course, especially the tunnel! Owen, who is a leukemia survivor (he's been cancer-free for a year and a half), missed out on physical activity and playing with friends during his treatment. His parents describe his participation in the Young Athletes Program as very rewarding. Now, he is very active and has taken sports classes for soccer, baseball, basketball and gymnastics.
Age 5
Centennial, Colorado
Matthew enjoys throwing and kicking the ball in the Young Athletes Program. In fact, his favorite toy is a ball because there are many different activities he can use it for! He's particularly fond of playing basketball and loves dribbling the ball and shooting hoops. When not participating in his own sports, Matthew likes cheering on the Southglenn Country Club swim team.
Age 5
Westbrook, Connecticut
While participating in the Young Athletes Program, Danya loves being able to dance, play with her friends and perform exercises like push-ups and jumping jacks. Danya is an optimist and an inspiration to others, saying that if she can do it, they can, too! She also enjoys arts and crafts and loves to paint.
Age 5
Smyrna, Delaware
J.J. describes seeing his friends and splashing in the pool as his favorite activities in the Young Athletes Program. In 2013, he attended his first Special Olympics Winter Games and was a superstar in swimming! J.J. enjoys playing baseball like the athletes on his favorite sports team, the Philadelphia Phillies, and calls their green, fuzzy mascot, the Phanatic, his sports hero.
Age 7
Washington, D.C.
Owen's favorite Young Athletes Program activity is one he calls "beanbag basketball," where kids throw beanbags through rings on the basketball court. Through the program, Owen has been able to participate in sports, and has grown to love being part of a team and interacting with other kids. Owen's sports stars are his brother Dylan, who plays baseball and soccer, and Washington Nationals outfielder, Bryce Harper.
Age 6
Ocoee, Florida
After undergoing open heart surgery in 2012, Sterling is stronger than ever thanks to the Special Olympics Young Athletes Program. Through the program, he's learned how to run, kick, jump, shoot a ball and more, and has transformed into a superstar athlete! Taking after his dad - a soccer coach - Sterling is a star on the soccer field, having scored several goals. He's also become a huge basketball fan.
Age 7
Newnan, Georgia
A cheerful girl, Joselyn never gives up and always strives to do her best. She is so excited to walk on the track and hear the crowd cheering her on until the finish line. Joselyn enjoys walking outside in the fresh air and throwing the volleyball back and forth with her older brother. She also has an incredible passion for music and loves dancing to her favorite songs.
Age 6
Mililani, Hawaii
Jaycie has had a passion for sports from a very early age and loves any team game that involves a ball. She's happiest in the Young Athletes Program while kicking and throwing balls, bowling and playing with her friends. Her favorite sports team is the Mililani Millennials.
Visit surrounding states to meet
Young Athletes from your area!
Age 7
Frankfort, Illinois
Jack's favorite part of participating in the Special Olympics Young Athletes Program is hitting and kicking the ball and running. He has so much fun playing his favorite sports, basketball, football and baseball, with his friends. Jack also loves pretending he's a superhero with one of his favorite toys, the Spider-Man Web Shooter!
Age 3
Carmel, Indiana
Logan enjoys any sport that involves throwing, catching or kicking a ball - especially basketball. He loves to participate in the Young Athletes Program activities and has a ton of fun playing with his friends. Logan also likes playing with blocks - building them up and knocking them down makes him laugh every time!
Age 4
Urbandale, Iowa
Claire can often be found climbing, swinging and sliding on jungle gyms, and loves using her "outside voice" when doing so. She has tons of fun participating in the Young Athletes Program and is so happy playing with her friends. Claire's dad, Dustan, is her hero. She loves when he takes her to the park and they chase and race one another!
Age 7
Olathe, Kansas
Katelyn enjoys many of the activities in the Young Athletes Program - from kicking and hitting balls, to the obstacle course - but her favorite activity is running. She has so much fun on the track - smiling, laughing and giggling all the way to the finish line! When not participating in athletics, Katelyn roots for her favorite local teams, the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs, and enjoys playing with her dolls.
Age 6
Elizabethtown, Kentucky
Ella enjoys all of the Young Athletes Program games, especially playing with the parachute. Her favorite activities include riding her bike and swimming. A (toy) dog lover, Ella is rarely without her stuffed Clifford the Big Red Dog, and has fun playing with her Nintendogs!
Age 2
Carencro, Louisiana
Peyton's favorite sport is basketball, but he really loves any sport that you play with a ball! He enjoys cheering on his favorite team, the LSU Tigers. Peyton's bedroom is decorated from floor to ceiling with LSU Tigers paraphernalia! Through his participation in the Young Athletes Program, Peyton has gained confidence and increased his strength.
Age 3
Denmark, Maine
Elsie is so excited to walk the balance beam and jump for joy while playing with the parachute in the Young Athletes Program. She also enjoys playing hockey with her older brother and dad, and loves to cheer on the Boston Red Sox. Elsie's favorite toys are her baby dolls, which she takes care of and sleeps with every night.
Age 5
Reisterstown, Maryland
Participating in the Young Athletes Program has given Luca the opportunity to learn many new and fun activities. A future basketball star - just like his sports hero, Larry Bird - Luca enjoys shooting hoops, and, according to his mom, has the height for it! When he's not on the court, Luca can be found playing with his action figures, and cheering on the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins.
Age 5
Rochester, Massachusetts
In the Young Athletes Program, Eve enjoys jumping hurdles and playing with the parachute. She especially loves to make the parachute go fast and slow, run underneath it and bounce balls off of it! Eve is a huge fan of Sesame Street and all the puppets on the show. She also loves to play with trains and her dollhouse.
2 1/Age 2
Clare, Michigan
In the Young Athletes Program, Wesley loves playing any game that involves a ball, especially baseball. He also enjoys making new friends, meeting the volunteers and most importantly, having fun! At home, Wesley likes playing with his five-year-old brother and watching his favorite sports team, the Detroit Tigers.
Visit surrounding states to meet
Young Athletes from your area!
Age 4
Chanhassen, Minnesota
Violet loves swimming and hopes to compete in Special Olympics someday! She also enjoys running around the playground and swinging on the monkey bars. An avid fan of the Wisconsin Badgers football, basketball and hockey teams, Violet wears her Badger clothing with pride. Her favorite sports hero is her friend and fellow swimmer, Abby Hirsch, who will be representing Minnesota in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games.
Age 5
Skidmore, Missouri
A future track and field star, Eli loves racing in his wheelchair as the crowd cheers him on! The excitement of being on the track brings a huge smile to Eli's face each time he speeds to the finish line. Eli also enjoys playing t-ball, baseball and basketball - just like his older brothers - and watching his sports hero, Billy Butler, play first base for the Kansas City Royals.
Age 7
Great Falls, Montana
Kelsey loves bouncing on the trampoline and making her way through the obstacle course where she can run, jump and roll around. She also enjoys learning new sports and activities through the Young Athletes Program, and playing them with her friends. Kelsey proudly cheers on the University of Montana Grizzlies, and loved watching Gabby Douglas and the U.S. women's gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
Age 4
Omaha, Nebraska
Vollen loves to dance and starts to boogie as soon as he hears music. He also enjoys swimming and can't wait to jump in the pool and kick his legs. Vollen's favorite sports hero is his dad, who teaches him how to catch and throw the ball. When not playing catch with his dad, Vollen roots for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team and loves to yell "Touchdown!" when the team scores.
Visit surrounding states to meet
Young Athletes from your area!
New Hampshire
Age 4
Antrim, New Hampshire
Landon's favorite Young Athletes Program activity is running - he loves sprinting on the track at lightning speeds! According to Landon, the best part of the Young Athletes Program is getting to play with other kids and making new friends.
New Jersey
Age 5
Rockaway, New Jersey
Jackson is an aspiring baseball star who loves to hit the ball and run the bases! Jackson especially likes the camaraderie and "team" feeling he gets from participating in the Young Athletes Program. When not playing baseball with his friends, Jackson enjoys cheering on the New York Giants and their quarterback, Eli Manning.
New Mexico
Age 8
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jocelyn never stops smiling while at the Young Athletes Program - even when she's competing. She likes running as fast as she can to the finish line. Jocelyn also enjoys making new friends and cheering on her teammates. A chef in the making, Jocelyn loves playing in her toy kitchen and pretending to cook with her little sister.
New York
Age 7
West Seneca, New York
Jack enjoys running the bases when playing baseball - and he keeps getting faster and faster! Jack likes hearing his fans, including his parents, grandparents, uncles and his school aide, cheer him on in the stands. Through the Young Athletes Program, Jack has gained confidence in his abilities, and he's made many friends along the way.
North Carolina
Age 6
Beulaville, North Carolina
Evan has a blast shooting hoops and scoring goals while playing basketball and soccer in the Young Athletes Program. At home, he enjoys playing catch with his mom and dad. Evan is a huge football and hockey fan, and loves cheering on his dad's favorite Detroit sports teams.
North Dakota
Age 8
Jamestown, North Dakota
Samantha's favorite sport is soccer because she likes to run and loves to kick the ball in the net and score! Samantha has made a lot of friends playing soccer and loves being part of a team. When she's not on the field, she enjoys cheering on the Minnesota Vikings football team.
Visit surrounding states to meet
Young Athletes from your area!
5 1/Age 2
Edmond, Oklahoma
Chase loves any sport that involves a ball. He also likes playing catch with his dad, but can be a bit mischievous. According to his parents, Chase throws the ball in the opposite direction and watches you run after it! Chase is a big fan of the Oklahoma City Barons minor league hockey team and was a "Barons Buddy" last year, getting to play with the team captain, John Green.
Age 11
Bend, Oregon
Ben enjoys competing and making new friends in the Young Athletes Program. Ben has loved the water since he was an infant, so his favorite activity is swimming. He is also inspired by Olympic gold medalist swimmers Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin. When he's not in the pool, Ben loves to cheer on the University of Southern California Trojans!
Age 5
Springfield, Pennsylvania
Brenna loves any type of activity involving a ball, such as playing catch. She also likes playing games such as Duck, Duck, Goose because she has fun running around being chased or chasing her friends. Brenna likes to play dress-up, take care of her baby dolls and cook a meal in her play kitchen. She also enjoys cheering on the Philadelphia Phillies.
Rhode Island
Age 7
Smithfield, Rhode Island
Madison enjoys playing soccer, scoring goals and defending the ball from other players. Her favorite sports hero is her Challenger buddy, Stephanie, a soccer player who is teaching Madison how to play as part of an athletic program that helps children with special needs. Madison loves all types of music and is known to stop whatever she's doing to start dancing!
South Carolina
Age 6
Clinton, South Carolina
Bindy loves gymnastics and enjoys walking across the balance beam. She also likes throwing and kicking balls as far as she can. Through the Young Athletes Program, Bindy has learned to challenge herself and has made a lot of new friends. Bindy is a huge fan of Clemson University, and cheers on the Tigers wearing her very own Clemson cheerleader uniform.
South Dakota
Age 6
Watertown, South Dakota
Hudson is a true sports fan and loves to watch games with his dad and older brothers. Through the Young Athletes Program, Hudson has the opportunity to play many different sports, just like his brothers. His favorite sports heroes are football players Adrian Peterson and Chad Greenway of the Minnesota Vikings. Hudson also enjoys rooting for the Miami Heat basketball team.
Age 6
Nolensville, Tennessee
An avid swimmer, Landon loves jumping into the pool to practice his butterfly stroke. When he's not swimming laps, Landon enjoys playing baseball, basketball and a game of tag with his friends. He also loves cheering on his sports hero, Dale Earnhardt Jr., spending time with his baby brother, Graham, and playing with his toy farm animals, tractors and cars.
Age 6
Austin, Texas
Adrian's favorite activities are soccer and kickball because he loves to kick and throw the ball. Adrian also likes watching his sister play soccer and attends all of her games to cheer her on. An avid sports fan, he roots for all Texas-based sports teams, including the Dallas Cowboys and San Antonio Spurs.
Age 3
West Jordan, Utah
Karston enjoys making new friends and playing games in the Young Athletes Program. He's extremely excited to participate in activities for the very first time - the smile on his face says it all! An avid basketball fan, Karston loves watching games with his dad and rooting for their favorite team, the Utah Jazz. Karston also likes playing with his toy train and making it chug along the tracks.
Age 8
Huntington, Vermont
Rowan loves swimming because he likes the feeling of moving in the water, and according to his dad, it's helped him to find balance. In the winter, there's nothing Rowan enjoys more than the sensation of flying down the mountain on his skis! Both sports run in the family, as his mom and grandfather taught him to ski, and his dad taught him how to swim. Rowan also loves to dance with his teammates!
Age 7
Richmond, Virginia
Jonathan's favorite part of the Young Athletes Program is having his brothers and friends cheer him on! He enjoys spending most of his time at the pool swimming laps. However, he likes to participate in soccer and basketball, too - the sports his brothers play! Jonathan is also a big fan of the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams and the Richmond Spiders.
Visit surrounding states to meet
Young Athletes from your area!
West Virginia
Age 11
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Peggy enjoys playing sports and has a lot of fun participating in the Young Athletes Program. Her favorite activities are basketball, track and field, and soccer. Her basketball happens to be her favorite toy - she loves dribbling and making baskets. Through the Young Athletes Program, Peggy has made new friends, gained confidence, learned what it means to be part of a team and so much more!
Age 4
West Allis, Wisconsin
When Traigh was born, he was diagnosed with bilateral club feet and an anomaly in his brain, which causes a language disorder and other developmental delays. Through the Young Athletes Program, Traigh has been able to transform through sports. The program helped him find his footing - he now loves running! - and he's learned how to build relationships and interact with his schoolmates and fellow athletes!
Age 8
Jackson, Wyoming
Ryan enjoys going outside to play sports and making new friends through the Young Athletes Program. Baseball is Ryan's favorite sport - he loves to cheer on the Boston Red Sox and his favorite sports hero, David "Big Papi" Ortiz. Ryan also enjoys playing with toy cars, and he especially likes the Disney Pixar Cars and Cars 2 movies.