August 11, 2017 | North America: Michigan

Dalvin Keller awarded honorary ESPY

By Mitchell Hatty

Dalvin Keller, a Special Olympics Michigan athlete from Flint, and seven other Special Olympics athletes were on stage at the 25th annual ESPY Awards show on July 12 in Los Angeles.View Story The ESPY Awards are the pinnacle of sports accomplishment and recognition. Dalvin Keller, a Special Olympics Michigan athlete from Flint, and seven other Special Olympics athletes were on stage at the 25th annual ESPY Awards show on July 12 in Los Angeles, assisting in the acceptance of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in honor of the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of Special Olympics."It was pretty fun, I had a good time," Dalvin said. "Celebrities, movie stars, all stars; I met them all."Dalvin also received his own honorary ESPY for his courage and commitment through sports as his team won gold in the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in volleyball. Dalvin had a hard time fitting in throughout his childhood. Getting picked on while growing up and going through hard struggles; he never expected something like this to happen from playing sports."It felt good to me, at least I accomplished something," Dalvin said. The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is given to those whose actions go above and beyond sports to the benefit of others. Eunice Kennedy Shriver dedicated her life to finding equality through sport for all people. The award was accepted by her son and Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver.Dalvin was on stage with Michelle Obama during this award acceptance; he met many celebrities and some of his favorite sports icons.

About Mitchell Hatty: Mitchell Hatty is a Marketing and Communications intern with Special Olympics Michigan.
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August 11, 2017 | North America: Michigan

Retired teacher in Michigan has seen the benefits of Special Olympics firsthand

By Trevor Metz

Special Olympics Michigan volleyball coach Connie Shelton.

Volunteers and coaches for Special Olympics Michigan are the oil in the machine for making the dream work.View Story Teamwork makes the dream work. Volunteers and coaches for Special Olympics Michigan are the oil in the machine for making the dream work. Connie Shelton, a volleyball coach with Area 20 (Washtenaw County), has been involved with Special Olympics Michigan for more than 30 years. Over time, Connie has seen the State Summer Games blossom into the spectacle it is today."The whole event has become larger, events are coordinated well with lots of variety," said Connie.The Ypsilanti resident has seen firsthand how the State Summer Games have a way to change a person's outlook on life.The coach sees her athletes gain life skills that follow them past the fun-filled weekend. Leaving an impression on them that they are capable of doing anything they put their mind to.Connie, a retired schoolteacher at Ypsilanti Area Public Schools, implemented lessons learned from Special Olympics Michigan into her curriculum. This helps make students with intellectual disabilities feel more included in the classroom.

About Trevor Metz: Trevor Metz is a Marketing and Communications intern with Special Olympics Michigan.
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August 11, 2017 | North America: Michigan

Seeing through on Dr. Phil's vision

By Trevor Metz

Dr. Phil Irion (left) with Special Olympics Michigan President and CEO Lois Arnold (right).

Every athlete wants to be at their peak performance. However, an athlete can't perform their best when they can't see that ball on the field.View Story Every athlete wants to be at their peak performance. However, an athlete can't perform their best when they can't see that ball on the field. The Healthy Athletes® Village at the Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Games aim to help athletes achieve the goal of performing their best.Dr. Phil Irion first came to Special Olympics Michigan after seeing the Healthy Athletes program at the 1999 Special Olympics World Games. Here, Dr. Phil saw hundreds of athletes from around the globe receive eye testing and glasses. For some athletes, this was the first vision care they had ever received. Irion wanted to implement the program in Michigan so athletes could continue to perform their best.Although the idea sounded wonderful, the lacked funding for the program and volunteers was halting any progress. Dr. Phil assured the staff at Special Olympics Michigan that would all be taken care of. Fast forward 17 years later, and the Healthy Athlete Program has become a staple fold for Special Olympics Michigan and its six state events.

About Trevor Metz: Trevor Metz is a Marketing and Communications intern with Special Olympics Michigan.
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