Special Olympics Hawaii asks for donations to help send 16 athletes to compete in the 2022 USA Games

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Sixteen athletes from Hawaii are preparing to compete for Gold in the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Florida.

They will be competing in bocce, bowling, powerlifting and swimming from June 5 to 12, 2022.

Special Olympics Hawaii is accepting donations to help with expenses. It costs more than $2,500 to send one person to the USA Games. Click here to make a donation.

“Our athletes have patiently waited for the chance to compete in-person for more than a year and we are excited to have them not only showcase their skills, but our state of Hawaii on a national platform,” said Special Olympics Hawaii’s President and CEO, Dan Epstein. “For many this will be a first-time experience. The first time leaving their island home. The first time competing on a national stage. Which is why we hope that the community will join us in supporting them by making a tax-deductible donation to help make their dream of competing for gold a reality.”

Athletes were selected from among more than 3,400 participants statewide. Those selected to represent Hawaii and compete on Team Hui ‘o Hawaii include:

Bocce (Four Athletes, Two Partners)

  • Henry Benedicto and Kurt Kendro (Unified Partner) – Oahu
  • James Thompson and Eric Thompson (Unified Partner) – Maui
  • Jeremy Badua and Darien-Lee Ducusin-Wong – Hawaii Island – East Hawaii

Coach: Ryan Carolan – Maui

Bowling (Four Athletes, Two Partners)

  • Carleen Yamamoto, Lisa Laureta, Ana Munoz (Unified Partner), Melissa Iida (Unified Partner) – Kauai
  • Randelle Lee – Kauai
  • Courtney Playter – Oahu

Coach: Lynette Young-Pak – Oahu

Powerlifting (Four Athletes)

  • Shawn Lehano – Hawaii Island – West Hawaii
  • Scottie Pacheco – Oahu
  • Daniel Saito – Oahu
  • Quentin Wong – Hawaii Island – West Hawaii

Coach: Winston Ho – Oahu
Assistant Coach: Denise Lindsey – Hawaii Island – West Hawaii

Swimming (Four Athletes)

  • Natasha Brice – Oahu
  • Jamey Burkett – Maui 
  • Taralyn Fukushima – Maui 
  • Alice Webb – Oahu

Coach: Denise Webb – Oahu
Assistant Coach: Sirena LaCour – Maui

Acting Deputy Chief Ryan Nishibun with the Honolulu Police Department will also be representing Hawaii at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. Nishibun will be part of the group serving as the “Guardians of the Flame,” escorting the Flame of Hope across Florida and their neighboring states.

Danny Kao from American Medical Response will be providing medical support for Hui ‘o Hawaii.

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