Capital District Region Special Olympics New York Athletes Surprised with News of USA Games Selection
Liza, Ben, Anthony, & Izzy to Represent New York in Orlando Next June
Albany, NY – Special Olympics New York surprised four local athletes Tuesday with the news that they’ve been selected to compete in the 2022 USA Games, which will be held at Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL.
Video of the surprises can be found here.
The Special Olympics New York USA Games delegation will include 121 athletes and coaches in 13 sports: Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Equestrian, Golf, Gymnastics, Powerlifting, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Triathlon, and Track & Field. More than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean will compete.
“We are thrilled for all of our athletes headed to Orlando next year,” said Ceylane Meyers-Ruff, chair of the Special Olympics NY Board of Directors. “We know they will do an outstanding job representing their home state, and we know that their fans across New York will join us in supporting them and cheering them on from afar.”
“We are so proud of Liza, Ben, Anthony, Izzy, and each of the 11 athletes representing New York from the Capital Region at USA Games,” said Stacey Hengsterman, president and CEO of Special Olympics NY. “These are our champions. They are the best of the best in their sport and they continue to inspire so many to accept all people as they are. The road to Orlando begins now!”
Liza Ambrosini, 34, of Queensbury has been a Special Olympics New York athlete for 8 years and has been playing tennis since she was 7 years old. She also played tennis is the last USA Games, in Seattle in 2018, winning the gold medal. She once played tennis with Monica Seles. Liza also skis with Special Olympics New York and works as a prep cook in a local pizzeria.
Ben Purick, age 27, of Glens Falls, has been a Special Olympics New York athlete for 19 years. This will be his first time competing at a level higher than State Games. He typically shoots in the low 80s for a round of golf. He works at Bogey’s Restaurant and also competes in Track & Field, Bowling, and Alpine Skiing with Special Olympics.
Anthony Lawless, 23, of Clifton Park, has been a Special Olympics New York athlete for 6 years. This will be his first time competing at a level higher than State Games. In addition to powerlifting, Anthony competes in Softball, Bowling, Track & Field, Basketball, Uniﬁed Flag Football, and Unified Soccer with Special Olympics – and participates in the Athlete Leadership Program. His favorite past times are playing video games and doing Special Olympics with his brother, Ed.
Izzy Brinkerhoff, 14, of Clifton Park, NY, has been a Special Olympics New York athlete for 7 years. This will be her first time competing at a level higher than State Games. In addition to Special Olympics Gymnastics, Izzy enjoys art, music and dancing. She’s an 8th grader at Shenendahowa Central School District. She has also been featured in our #YourBrandHere campaign.
About USA Games
The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games is scheduled for June 5-12, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. Jersey Mike’s Subs is the Presenting Partner and Walt Disney World Resort is host. During this magical week, more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean will travel to Florida to unite in one of the country’s most cherished sporting events. The USA Games is hosted once every four years and showcases 20 Olympic-style team and individual sports and 30 events throughout the week including forums and VIP receptions. Learn more at: www.2022usagames.org.
About Special Olympics New York
Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 68,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with about 250 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports, where students with and without disabilities compete as teammates. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. The organization has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.com, making it one of the most trusted charities in the business nationally. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit www.specialolympicsNY.org.