The top finishers in each category were: Marc Janovics of Illinois, men's artistic; Chelsea Werner of California, women's artistic; Christina Judd Campbell of Canada, rhythmic gymnastics; and Chattooga Galaxy, TeamGym (featuring Karen Davis, Lani DeMello, Khalilah Greer, Paulette Harrison, Mandy Hoopingarner, Katie Kludt, Shannon Laffey and Dana Misitano).
Twenty volunteers served as judges in the event, which featured athletes from 12 states and Canada. The USA Gymnastics Special Olympics Championships was hosted locally by Chattooga Gymnastics, Special Olympics Georgia and Cobb County Special Olympics Gymnastics Team. Procter & Gamble provided a variety of products to the athletes, coaches, judges and moms. A sponsor of USA Gymnastics, P&G is one of Special Olympics' longstanding partners and has supported the movement for more than 32 years.
"I believe the USA Gymnastics Special Olympics is important because it showcases the abilities, rather than the disabilities, of athletes," said Cindy Bickman, meet director and owner of Chattooga School of Gymnastics and Dance. "I was really proud of the Cobb team. The more experienced team members not only competed, but they also helped coach, distributed awards and served as great role models for the spectators and volunteers."
The artistic competition is for skill Levels A, B, 1, 2, 3 and 4, with rhythmic gymnastics for Levels A, B, 1, 2, 3 and 4. Competition includes both individual and Unified gymnasts. A Unified gymnast is a partner without intellectual disabilities who will compete the same routine as the Special Olympics athlete, and the pair's scores will be combined for a team total. For rhythmic group, there are an equal number of Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners in each group.
TeamGym is a competitive version of group gymnastics that features squads of athletes performing together in two events – group floor exercise and group jump. TeamGym may have both Unified partners and Special Olympics athletes.
Men's and women's gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics will follow Special Olympics rules, while TeamGym will use USA Gymnastics rules.
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 3.7 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq, and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.
2013 USA Gymnastics Special Olympics Championships
Cobb County Gymnastics Center
May 4, 2013
Men's artistic gymnastics
1. Marc Janovics - Illinois
2. Nate Hollenback - Illinois
Women's artistic gymnastics
1. Chelsea Werner - California
2. Shannon Laffey - Georgia
3. Audrey Brickwood - Illinois
4. Eve Lotterer - Virginia
1. Christina Judd Campbell - Canada
2. Lani DeMello - Georgia
3. Elena Weaver - Georgia
1. Chattooga Galaxy - Georgia
Team members: Karen Davis, Lani DeMello, Khalilah Greer, Paulette Harrison, Mandy Hoopingarner, Katie Kludt, Shannon Laffey, Dana Misitano