Male Athlete of the Month
Jeremy MacLeod has competed in cycling, track and field, bowling, speed skating, bocce, basketball, and snow shoeing for the Southsiders for the past 16 years. He is a fierce competitor and has always loved sports since he was a child. His mother (and coach) Mary says, “Special Olympics has given Jeremy a huge boost in his social life and taught him teamwork. It has also given him the opportunity to participate in something he loves.” Congratulations to Jeremy on being named the Special Olympics Colorado Male Athlete of the Month!
Female Athlete of the Month
Hanna Atkinson is a Special Olympics Colorado athlete from Littleton, Colorado and has been competing for 10 years in skiing and cycling. Although she is an exceptional athlete, SOCO has given Hanna many more opportunities beyond sports. Hanna has been heavily involved in our Youth Activation Committee and is a Global Messenger. She credits SOCO for giving her all of these opportunities to share her story. Hanna recently had the opportunity to honor and thank Tom Golisano for his support of the Special Olympics Healthy Athlete Program and she attended Special Olympics Capitol Hill Day in Washington D.C. to advocate for all Special Olympics athletes. Congratulations Hanna on being named the Special Olympics Colorado Female Athlete of the Month.
Coach of the Month
Tim has been coaching ski racing with the Cherry Creek Alpine Racing Team for 10 years. Tim also coaches cycling for the Southsiders Cycling Team. Tim is always there regardless of the weather conditions. Not only does he set the example for what it means to be a racer, but more importantly, what is means to be a friend. He is very detailed in placing athletes with the appropriate group based on their skill level, is incredibly supportive and does everything possible to ensure success. Congratulations Tim on being named the Special Olympics Colorado Coach of the Month.
The Christensen Family
Family of the Month
The Christensen Family (Cynthia, Kasey and Noah) has been involved with Special Olympics for the past 11 years. Kasey, who is a Special Olympics Colorado athlete, has competed in basketball, swimming, flag football, softball, bocce ball, track, and soccer. The family has been cheerleaders, chaperones, fundraisers, and supporters of all his teams through the years. Kasey was a member of the first ever Unified Sports program at Mead High School where he lettered in flag football, basketball and soccer. They family has raised funds and participated in the Polar Plunge for the past two years. Younger brother and Unified Partner Noah, raised funds and participated in the Polar Plunge four years in a row and mom Cynthia has done it for 3 years. Noah has been a Special Olympics partner since he was old enough to join in. He has also been a Mead High School Unified Partner. Cynthia has coached track and bocce for Carbon Valley Special Olympics and City of Longmont Special Olympics Colorado. Cynthia says, “We are so grateful for Special Olympics! It has touched our whole family’s heart and added so many great people into our lives!” Congratulations to the Christensen Family on being named the Special Olympics Colorado Family of the Month!
Volunteer of the Month
Kirsten has been volunteering for Special Olympics Colorado since 2006 and coaching for the last year. When she started last year with Unified Juniors, she coached basketball and now coaches soccer and t-ball. Kirsten had the chance to go to Summer Games this last year and coached the Unified Juniors team. Kirsten says, “One of the coolest aspects of working with the Unified Juniors is to focus on what the kids have in common. They want to have fun and learn new skills. It is very rewarding to see them improve each week. The sportsmanship in Special Olympics is unparalleled.” Congratulations Kirsten on being named Special Olympics Colorado Coach of the Month.
Avon Police Department
Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) Agency of the Month
The Avon Police Department literally dove into staging their Inaugural Polar Plunge last year and raised over $8,000. Their second Annual Polar Plunge was earlier this month where they have added a Freezer 5K Run. Avon Police Chief Greg Daly led his Plunge team into the coldest plunge waters in the state. Officer Al Zepeda manages the Plunge and is also a key committee member for the Eagle County multi agency Torch Run. He recruits officers to work the Vail Tip-A-Cop which last year raised over $3,200, and is looking into staging an LETR Pickleball tournament this Summer as an additional LETR fundraiser. Avon Police Department is a small but mighty force when it comes to raising funds for our Special Olympics Colorado athletes. Congratulations to the Avon Police Department on being named the Special Olympics Colorado LETR Agency of the Month!