USA Games

by | Jul 6, 2016 |

2018 Special Olympics USA Games

July 1-6, 2018
Seattle, Washington

Special Olympics Kansas is looking for athletes to train for one year and represent Kansas at the USA Games held July 1-6, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.

Twenty-two positions are open – two females and two males for each of the following sports:  Athletics, Bocce, Bowling,Tennis, Swimming.  For Powerlifting 1 female and 1 male


These USA Games opportunities are NOT for everyone.  Independent living skills, proper behavior, and the ability to travel in new and unfamiliar situations ARE REQUIREMENTS.  Athletic prowess is not required, but do need the basic skills to compete in their event safely and with dignity.  As well, we will need highly-committed athletes who will train for one year with a pre-selected coach.

Selection will be based on suitability (Do they meet the requirements?), regional representation (Is the whole state being represented?), previous Games attendance (Have they already had the chance to compete on a national level?) and then by a random draw.

Click here  to download the Special Olympics Kansas Delegation SOKS Athlete Application USA  Games  – Deadline to submit Applications is April 15, 2017

Click here  for the Athlete Application USA  Games  in Spanish.


Team Kansas Coaches

The following coaches have been pre-selected as the Kansas Coaches:

Athletics – Noalee McDonald-Augustine, ARC of Central Plains Buffalos
Bocce – Rose Simon, Wichita Independents
Bowling – Ed Lee, Topeka/Shawnee
Powerlifting – Gary Tanner, Douglas County Jayhawks
Swimming – SueAnn Wanklyn, The Roadrunners
Tennis – Sid Kanter, Blue Valley Blue Streaks
Asst. Head of Delegation – Tim Rehder, SOKS
Head of Delegation – Clint Armistead, SOKS

About The Games:


July 1-6, 2018
Where Seattle, Washington
Who 3.500 athletes
1,000 Coaches & Delegates
10,000 Volunteers
10.000 family members/friends
50,000 Spectators
Flag Football
Opening ceremony
July 1, 2018 in Huskey Stadium
Closing ceremony July 6, 2018 in Huskey Stadium

Frequently Asked Questions

What does “local coach” mean?

Each athlete selected for Team Kansas will need to train regularly in their sport for one year. Given that athletes selected may be from across the state, they will have limited opportunities to meet and train with the Team Kansas Coach. Thus, a local coach is requested to execute the training regimen prescribed by the Team Kansas coach.

Local coaches do not attend the Summer Games with Team Kansas. They can attend as spectators however just like family members and friends.

Does the Local Coach training the athlete need to be certified by SOKS? Even if they are paid professionals (For example some bowling pros give private lessons at the bowling alley)?

For liability purposes, the Local Coach should at minimum meet the requirements of a Program Assistant (Class A and Protective Behaviors). The Local Coach should have sports knowledge in order to properly conduct the practice schedule and report back observations/suggestions to the Team Kansas Coach.

How much training is local?

For the most part, regular practices will be conducted individually with the Local Coach who will report back to the Team Kansas Coach via phone or email.

How often and how does athlete meet and train with Team Kansas coach?

We are scheduling 3 dates to meet and train as an entire group. Those dates are June 2 in Wichita (State Summer Games), Nov 10 in KC (Fall Sports Classic) and March TBD. We chose to hold these in conjunctions with State Games to make it convenient for most athletes and coaches who would normally be traveling on those dates.


The Team Kansas Coach may schedule additional in-person practices either privately or with the other athletes in that sport.

Do the parents take the athlete (transport) to the USA Games or do they go as a team?

Athletes selected for Team Kansas will travel to USA Games with Team Kansas. Most likely there will not be an opportunity for parents or friends to travel in the same bus/airplane. If however there is space, we will let you know. For 2018, anticipated travel will be primarily by airplane with onsite transportation likely busses.

How much interaction is there between family members and athlete during the week of USA Games?

Opportunities for interaction can be very minimal and family members should prepare themselves for this fact. Sometimes it is harder on the parent than the athlete to be apart from one another.

Athletes may have their personal phones to text/call parents. The Team Kansas Coaches and Staff may set limits on when and how often that can take place. For instance, in the competition venue athletes need to remained focused and not be distracted.

One phone call per day would be a reasonable average to expect, however some days may be busier than others and it may be more important for the athlete to get rest. We will have a text message system and/or Facebook page updated daily with pictures and information to recap the day’s activities.

Does the athlete get an agenda on how the Team Kansas Coach wants them to train? Does this get coordinated with their local coach and family?

The training schedule will be developed by the Team Kansas Coach for athletes in his or her sport. Input and collaboration with the Local Coach is encouraged. The Team Kansas Coach may only have a few opportunities to meet face-to-face, so communication is important during this “virtual” training time.

Is there a lot of travel involved other than to where the USA Games are being held?

Not particularly. The only other travel would be to our three meeting dates in June, November and March. Those meetings will be held in Kansas in conjunction with State Games. The March date may develop into a Spring Training Camp if sufficient funds are raised.

Where are family required meetings and orientations held and how often?

The three meeting dates will be both informational and for training purposes. It would be beneficial for parents or caregivers to attend these meeting dates to ask questions and get the latest information. Email correspondence will also be a primary form of communicating.

Since athletes may be great distances apart, how does information between coaches, families and other athletes of same sport get done?

Emails and phone conferences will be primary methods for communicating. We hope to utilize our three meeting dates as well to communicate information.

What are fundraising requirements?

Each athlete selected to attend USA Games agrees to help fundraise 50% of the cost to attend the Games.  For the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, that amounts to $42,000 for the entire Team Kansas or $1,000 per athlete.  This includes travel, lodging, equipment, uniforms and other expenses related to the games and competition.

Special Olympics Kansas is dedicated to helping our athletes achieve this fundraising goal.  To help, Special Olympics Kansas will create a USA Games account for each athlete, to be held by Special Olympics Kansas’ accounting department.  Funds raised from fundraising or personal funds will be placed in each athlete’s games accounts.  Payments or donations can be accepted at any time.

Cash can be given to your coach, who can forward along to SOKS HQ. Checks can be made payable to Special Olympics Kansas, with the athlete’s name in the memo line.  Be sure to include your name so we can credit your account!

An online fundraising account will be set up for each athlete. This account can be linked and shared via email, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media. Funds donated through this site will go directly into the athlete’s game account on file with Special Olympics Kansas. If you wish to check on your fundraising account balance, please contact Luke Schulte, or 620.408.4450.

Individual incentives will be earned for every $250 raised based on each athlete’s games account balance!

Incentives include tshirts and hats. Plus, at the $1,000 mark, the athlete’s name will be entered into a drawing for a trip for 2 to Seattle so friends or family can watch their favorite athlete compete in the USA Games!  Trip includes roundtrip, coach airfare for two and double occupancy room for 6 nights. Each $100 over the $1000, the athlete’s name will be entered again for the chance to win the trip for 2!


Team Kansas’s “push” goal will be $50,000. If Team Kansas makes that goal by Feb 1, 2018, Special Olympics Kansas will hold a two-day overnight Training Camp in March 2018.

Are there certain unacceptable fundraising options? Can we host a spaghetti dinner and use those funds?

All Special Olympics Kansas Local Programs must follow our policies and procedures in regards to fundraising. For instance, our insurance generally doesn’t cover rodeos or events involving firearms. More details are available in our SOKS Manual. Bingo nights, spaghetti dinners and the like are great ways to raise funds, but beware the start-up costs. Often presenting one’s personal story and requesting a donation yields the same results as organizing a special event.

If we do fundraising for athlete as a Local Program, do we need to open a bank account (we currently do not have one)? Do we have to report this income to SOKS quarterly like Local Programs that have established bank accounts?

No and no. In fact all funds should be sent directly to SOKS. Our finance department will set up a line item in our accounts for each athlete. SOKS will also set-up an online fundraising page that athletes can promote via Facebook and social media. The website will be similar to a Kickstarter or GoFundMe page. The website will charge an additional fee on all donations made through their site, so when possible cash or check is preferred.

It says that there may be long days of early mornings and late evenings. Will that be every day?

The Games Organizing Committee (GOC) who sets the schedule of events for the games recognizes the special needs of our athletes. It is very possible that schedule changes and delays may force an unusually early morning or late evening.

A typical date of activities can be 12-15 hours and require walking for extended periods of time over various distances. All this for multiple days in a row.

I have another question not answered here

Please contact Clint Armistead, or 913.236.9290 x111.