Ask the Experts: Special Olympics New York Reps Available for Interviews as World Games Take Place in Berlin June 17-25

Albany, NY – Special Olympics New York cheered and waved as 19 of its athletes, unified partners and coaches made their way to World Games in Berlin, Germany this week as part of Special Olympics USA.

The national team comprised of 201 athletes, coaches and staff from Special Olympics chapters across the country, including 8 Unified teams, where people with and without intellectual disabilities compete together as teammates. New York’s own City Hawks, a Unified school soccer team out of Manhattan, will be among them.

Bios for all of New York’s participants are available here.

World Games Berlin will take place June 17-25. It brings together 7,000 Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners from approximately 190 countries as well as more than 3,000 coaches and 20,000 volunteers. As the official broadcast partner of Special Olympics, ESPN will broadcast World Games across its TV networks and stream them on WatchESPN and the ESPN App.

Special Olympics New York is proud to offer the following experts for media interested in learning more about World Games, the largest multi-sport event to be held in Berlin in decades.

Stacey Hengsterman, President & CEO can provide insight about New York’s delegation members, the importance of participating and what it takes to make this opportunity of a lifetime available to New York’s Special Olympics community.

Athlete Kevin Brown, of Albany, has participated in Special Olympics for 48 years. He is a 4-time World Games competitor, having competed in 1989 in Reno, Nevada for cross-country skiing; 1991 in Minneapolis, Minnesota for unified volleyball; 2001 in Anchorage, Alaska for cross-country skiing; and 2007 in Shanghai, China for traditional volleyball.

Coach Chris Hughes, of Clifton Park, is a powerlifting coach for Special Olympics New York as well as the director of development and impact for the organization. Chris was recruited by World Games Berlin organizers to serve as the sport’s technical delegate. He will be in Berlin ensuring the authenticity of the powerlifting competition.

Ellen Pikula, Mid-State Regional Director, has worked at Special Olympics New York for more than 30 years. She is an expert on Special Olympics sports programming, coaching and officiating, most recently serving as a softball official at Special Olympics USA Games in 2022.

Kyle Walsh, Senior Director of Program, is Special Olympics New York’s expert on sports competition, rules and the criteria for advancement.


About Special Olympics World Games Berlin

Special Olympics World Games Berlin will be the world’s largest multi-sport event in Berlin in decades. It will feature more than 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from more than 190 countries competing in 26 sports: athletics, badminton, basketball, basketball 3×3, beach volleyball, bocce, bowling, cycling, equestrian, field hockey, football, futsal, golf, gymnastics – artistic, gymnastics—rhythmic, handball, judo, kayaking, open water swimming, powerlifting, roller skating, sailing, swimming, table tennis, tennis and volleyball.  Learn more about Special Olympics USA at specialolympicsusa.org.