Nevada team returns after successful Special Olympics USA 2022 appearance


Local Special Olympics athletes competed in swimming, athletics and bowling

LAS VEGAS/RENO — All six athletes from Team Nevada are back home after a successful performance at the 2022 Special Olympics U.S. Games, including winning two gold medals and a bronze medal. Held in Orlando last week, Team Nevada athletes competed in swimming, track and field and bowling.

Here are the Nevada team’s results:

Jordan Lechtenberger, Las Vegas: Swimming – Gold Medal, 200 yard freestyle; 7th place, 100m freestyle,

Lakisha Taylor, Carson City: Athletics – Gold Medal, 100m Run; 5th place in shot put

Jacqueline Gilpin, South Lake Tahoe: Bowling – Bronze Medal, Single Bowling; 7th place bowling in doubles

Devin Gaffney, Las Vegas: Swimming – 4th place, 50 yard freestyle; 4th place 25m backstroke

Eric Barber, Winnemucca: Athletics – 5th place, long jump; 7th place, shot put; 7th in the 100m race

Samantha Aslin, Mesquite: Bowling – 5th place, single bowling; 7th place bowling in doubles

“Our Team Nevada athletes demonstrated determination, discipline, grace and a spirit of friendly competition in each of their events,” said Terrence Thornton, executive director of Special Olympics Nevada. “I am so proud of how our athletes have represented Nevada to the world and this unforgettable experience will stay with them and the SONV team for a lifetime.”

Before flying to Orlando for the competition, Caesar Entertainment treated the Nevada team to a gold star send-off event. After a night at Caesars Palace, the group enjoyed breakfast at the famed Bacchanal Buffet, lunch at celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar, a ride on the High Roller Wheel and a zipline at FlyLINQ at the LINQ Hotel & Experience . The day ended with a special dinner and presentation at HELL’S KITCHEN at Caesars Palace where celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay surprised the athletes with a video congratulating them and wishing them well at this year’s Games. After dinner, the athletes were cheered on on a “march of honor” by Caesars Entertainment management and team members, Las Vegas Raiders punter, receiver AJ Cole and Las Vegas Raiders, Mack Hollins, Caesar and Cleopatra, the mascot of the Las Vegas Aces, Buckets. , the Henderson Silver Knights mascot, Lucky and members of law enforcement from Southern Nevada as they boarded their limos for a police-escorted ride to Harry Reid International Airport.

The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, presented by Jersey Mike’s Subs, brought 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean to Florida for one of the nation’s most beloved sporting events. The US Games are held once every four years and, for the first time in its history, will feature 19 Olympic-style team and individual sports and 30 events throughout the event. These US Games also celebrated the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics Florida.

About Special Olympics Nevada

SONV is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities through sport, education, leadership and athlete health. The 501(c)3 non-profit organization provides free year-round training and competition programs for 2,694 athletes who compete in more than 14 competitions in 7 sports per year. Through the Community Sports Program and the School Partnership Program, SONV encourages the growth of Unified Sports®, bringing together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to play as teammates. In a typical year, SONV reaches over 21,283 students by promoting inclusion on school campuses. SONV is also committed to improving the health and general well-being of people with developmental disabilities through Healthy Athletes events, offering free screenings and services. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the organization was able to convert its programming to virtual platforms to ensure the health and safety of people with intellectual disabilities. SONV relies on the support of 1,670 volunteers and funding from individuals, organizations, businesses and foundations. More information can be found by visiting and following on Facebook, Twitter (@SONevada) and Instagram (@specialolympicsnv).

Media Contact:

Latoya Bembry

The Ferraro Group

[email protected]



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