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2022 Brightspot Unified Golf Challenge: Day Two Recap

A large group of golfers pose together.
Participants from the 2022 Brightspot Unified Golf Challenge post together on the first tee box at the Golf Club at Creighton Farms.
Two adult men standing side by side for a photo.
Nick Kimmel from the Wounded Warrior Project and Kody Conover of Special Olympics Utah became fast friends this week at the Brightspot Unified Golf Challenge.

ALDIE, VIRGINIA – The second and final day of the 2022 Brightspot Unified Golf Challenge was filled with a competitive fire only a team golf event could bring.

Played under overcast skies and cool temperatures at the Golf Club at Creighton Farms, Day Two was a Ryder Cup-style tournament with members of Special Olympics, the First Tee of Greater Washington, DC, Wounded Warrior Project veterans and Howard University men’s golfers playing in pairs of two.

The competitors were split into two teams, aptly named the “Stars” and the “Stripes” as a salute to the U.S. military veterans.

While it was ultimately the “Stripes” who took home the trophy, the spirit of Unified golf brought all the players together for a memorable day at Creighton Farms.

Chris Lussier of Special Olympics Rhode Island said meeting and interacting with other golfers from across North America made for a special two-day event.

“Friendships and camaraderie bring people closer together. I truly believe that we’re moving closer to a more inclusive society and less away from stigmatizations surrounding people with intellectual disabilities,” Chris said.

Because the teams were Unified, competitors both with and without intellectual disabilities played together and learned from each other.

A woman and man standing side by side with their arms around one anothers shoulders.
Erin Thom of Special Olympics Canada and Myles Manor of the First Tee of Greater Washington, DC were paired together on Day Two of the 2022 Brightspot Unified Golf Challenge.

“Playing Unified means we can prove to people both with and without intellectual disabilities that we have many more talents than most people realize,” Chris said. “This week was a great way to bring all people together to play golf, a game we all love.”

Myles Manor of the First Tee of Greater Washington, DC said he was grateful to play with a diverse group of people.

“My favorite part of this event has been learning how to play from others who have different styles than me and it allows me to grow and experience golf in a different way,” Myles said.

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