IK Kim high-fives Special Olympics New Jersey athlete, Sam Pignatelli, after sinking a putt.
Galloway, NJ - 2 June 2012 – On Saturday at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, Special Olympics announced the appointment of three-time LPGA winner, I.K. Kim, as a Special Olympics Ambassador for Golf. Kim’s role as a Special Olympics Ambassador will be to help grow the game of golf within the Special Olympics movement and promote acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities on and off the golf course.
“As we continue to look for opportunities for our athletes to achieve their personal best, we are thrilled to have I.K. Kim join the Special Olympics family. Her dedication, drive and generous spirit are a lesson to young people around the world and we are thrilled to have her represent our movement” said Timothy Shriver, Chairman and CEO Special Olympics. “I.K. Kim’s involvement in Special Olympics comes at an exciting time because the next World Games will be held in her home country of South Korea in 2013.”
Kim was announced as a Special Olympics Ambassador during a press conference at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club outside Atlantic City. As part of the press conference, Kim presented Special Olympics with a donation of more than $100,000, which was half of her winnings from the 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Kim vowed after the win to donate her entire first-place check of $225,000 to charity, with half going to the Lorena Ochoa Foundation and the other half to Special Olympics. The three-time LPGA winner carefully selected Special Olympics as the second recipient of her donation because she wanted to support a cause that is truly making an impact and she has seen the powerful work of Special Olympics.
“I have been talking to Special Olympics for the past year and this seemed to be a great fit for me,” Kim said. “I was looking for an organization that I truly believed in and could continue to work with on a long-term basis. I didn’t want to just give the money away. I am really looking forward to joining the Special Olympics family as an Ambassador.”
The location of Saturday’s announcement, the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, was fitting since it will be the site of the 2013 Special Olympics North America Golf Invitational Tournament, where Special Olympics athletes will play on the same course as Kim.
Following the announcement and check presentation, Kim hosted a Junior Golf Show for more than 400 youth and conducted a golf clinic for Special Olympics athletes focusing on the short game. In her role as a Sports Ambassador and working side-by-side with Special Olympics athletes, Kim will continue to demonstrate her commitment to inclusion and to help overcome prejudices about intellectual disability.
About Special Olympics
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 four 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 now takes place every day, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities all over the world, from community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighborhood’s backyard to World Games. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship. Special Olympics continues to grow thanks in part to the support of global corporate sponsors including The Coca-Cola Company, Procter & Gamble, Hilton Worldwide, Mattel and Lions Club International. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq, and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com
About the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association)
The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950, the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 1,700 members representing 29 different countries. With a Vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while dedicated LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management. The Symetra Tour consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via: www.LPGA.com, www.facebook.com/lpga.official, www.twitter.com/lpga, and www.youtube.com/lpgavideo.