Female Athlete of the Month
Tricia lives in Pagosa Springs and has been a Special Olympics Colorado Athlete for 10 years competing in softball, track and field, and bowling. When Tricia is not competing, she is volunteering her time grocery shopping and bringing meals to Seniors. Tricia also loves spending time outdoors with her Coach Nancy. She is very well-known around town for her happy attitude and big smile! Congratulations Tricia on being named the Special Olympics Colorado Female Athlete of the Month!
Greg has been involved with Special Olympics Colorado (SOCO) since 1972 (47 years!) Over the years, he has competed in track and field, bowling, swimming, basketball, softball, volleyball, and bocce and earned over 200 medals. Greg says his most memorable experiences have been competing in bowling at the Special Olympics World Games in 1991 in Minneapolis and winning a gold medal in soccer at the World Games in Nebraska in 1999.
Greg has raised two sons on his own, and has a granddaughter. Both his sons and his granddaughter participate in Special Olympics.
Special Olympics has changed Greg’s life in many ways. Grey says, ‘Before I got involved with Special Olympics I got beat up all of the time, I was picked on, and I was shy. Sports helped build my confidence.” Congratulations Greg on being named the Special Olympics Colorado Male Athlete of the Month!
Hayden Brink, Thomas Cunningham, and Skylar Harding
Coaches of the Month
Hayden, Thomas and Skylar started volunteering and coaching this year for Special Olympics Colorado beginning with the basketball season with the Aurora Lakers and Aurora Unified teams. They plan to also coach softball and flag football. When asked how SOCO has impacted their life, Hayden said “I have made many friends among the athletes and really look forward to practice every week. It is the most fun part of my week! Thomas added, “I‘ve been inspired by each athlete and coach that I have worked with. This experience has reminded me that the skills learned and relationships formed through sports can be among the most meaningful in life.” Congratulations to Hayden, Thomas and Skylar on being named the Special Olympics Colorado Coaches of the Month!
The Gagliardi Family
Family of the Month
The Gagliardi Family has been involved with Special Olympics Colorado (SOCO) since 2014 when SOCO Athlete Troy started competing in softball. Troy now competes in snowboarding, soccer, softball, and track and field. His father is now the coach of the Pikes Peak Shredders who recently competed the SOCO State Winter Games where Troy won two gold medals! Mike also coaches flag football, track and field, and soccer. Mike and Troy’s mother Colleen love supporting Troy in all of his competitions and are wonderful advocates for Special Olympics Colorado.
Congratulations to the Gagliardi Family on being named the Special Olympics Colorado Family of the Month!
Mikael Graces has been volunteering with Special Olympics since she was in college. She took a more active role as a Clinical Director for Special Olympic Colorado’s Special Smiles program in February of 2018, which provides free dental screenings for our athletes. Volunteering for Special Smiles proved to be the catalyst she needed to pursue a residency program. Makael says, “It’s amazing to think that with just a few more years of education, I will be able to bridge this gap and radically improve the level of care for a demographic that so desperately needs it.” Congratulations Mikael on being named the Special Olympics Colorado Volunteer of the Month!
Lamar Outdoor has been an incredible media partner for Special Olympics Colorado. Each year, Lamar Outdoor donates more than $50,000 worth of digital billboard space to help promote our fundraising events including the Polar Plunge, Plane Pull, and Colorado Gives Day. Recently, Lamar donated 14 digital billboards throughout Colorado to help us promote our Polar Plunge Series. Thank you to Lamar for your ongoing support of our athletes and for helping share our mission of acceptance and inclusion. Congratulations to Paul Zapata and the Lamar Outdoor Team on being named the Special Olympics Colorado Community Partner of the Month!