FRANKFORT, Ky. (WEHT) – Three men from the Tri-State are training for the 2022 Special Olympic USA Games. Torrey Thompson, Mark McKinney and Kevin Rates will be participating in Team Kentucky Training Camp in Richmond this week to prepare for the games.
There are three types of roles that have participation in the Special Olympics. These roles are athletes, unified partners or adult mentors.
Rockport native 25 year-old Torrey Thompson is training for bocce. Thompson’s brother Brett and dad Jeff won a silver medal in the Unified bocce competition at the 2018 Games in Seattle.
This will be the first USA Games for Thompson. He has been involved in Special Olympics for 12 years and has competed in bocce for eight years.
Hartford native Mark McKinney is an unified partner or teammate for bocce. He has been involved in Special Olympics for more than 20 years as a coach, official and Unified partner.
Thompson will compete in the bocce singles event at the games before teaming up with McKinney in the unified doubles event.
Track is the competition for 37 year-old Hawesville native Kevin Rates. He has been a Special Olympics athlete for 30 years and has competed in track and field for more than a decade. This will be Rates’s first trip to the USA Games.
The 2022 USA Games will be unique in that many of the competition venues will be part of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Walt Disney World. The games will take place in Orlando, Fla. from June 5-12.
“We’re excited to once again have the opportunity to send athletes and coaches to the USA Games,” said Special Olympics Kentucky President and CEO Trish Mazzoni. “Being selected to Team Kentucky for the Games is not only a tremendous honor for our athletes, but it offers a great opportunity for personal growth. We have seen many of our athletes be transformed by this experience at the previous four USA Games that have been held. Plus, with these Games being held largely at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, it will be a one-of-a-kind environment and a chance to compete in world-class facilities.”
The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games is one of the country’s most cherished sporting events and will unite more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean. The USA Games will offer 19 Olympic-style team and individual sports, including athletics (track & field), basketball, bocce, bowling, cheerleading, equestrian, flag football, golf, gymnastics, open water swimming, powerlifting, soccer, softball, stand up paddleboard, surfing, swimming, tennis, triathlon and volleyball.