2022 special olympics usa games

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The 2022 special olympics usa games may be over

but the memories will last a lifetime

2022 Special Olympics USA Games
JUNE 14, 2022, 3:27 PM CST

Saint Paul, MN., June 06, 2022 (The New Roar Times) — Families, friends and fans from all over the country came together last week to celebrate the kickoff of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, presented by Jersey Mike’s Subs, in Orlando, Florida. More than 20,000 fans filled Exploria Stadium to cheer on and welcome more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean. Last week, Special Olympics athletes competed in 19 Olympic-style team and individual sports at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex and several other world-class sports facilities around Central Florida.

This past week, four powerlifters from Minnesota got to showcase how their hard work and dedication has paid off. They are showing the world how it is possible to come together through inclusion, connection and sports. These Games were the largest in Special Olympics USA Games history, and I was proud to shine the spotlight on these four athletes as they showcased their remarkable abilities on and off the field.

The 2022 USA Games have come and gone quickly but the experience these amazing athletes had will never be forgotten.

Austin, Daniel, Bradley, and Darius total weight lifted at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games


Coach Andy and Bradley getting their picture taken after the medal ceremony at the USA Games

Bradley Biersdorf

The Technician
Bronze Medalist

Brad is a natural born leader. Which is why every time we followed him somewhere we got lost, ha-ha. Brad is an amazing athlete with a great attitude, and his work ethic is like nonother. Whether it’s practice or competition, you will never wonder if he performed to the best of his ability.
Bench Press-52/115

Coach Andy and Daniel getting their picture taken after the medal ceremony at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games

Daniel Boyd

Beast Mode
Gold Medalist / 3 silver medals

First time on an airplane, first time away from home, and the biggest event he has ever competed in – it is safe to say Daniel was a nervous wreck. All I can say is, “Daniel, you should get nervous more often.” I have been with Daniel for over ten years, and I have never seen such an amazing show like the one he put on at the Games.
Squat-187/413 (PR)
Bench Press-80/176

Coach Andy and Darius getting their picture taken after the medal ceremony at the 2022 USA Games

Darius Sirek

Silver Medalist

Darius is just a fun person to be around. With his good humor and positive attitude, he raises the energy wherever he goes. Darius can adapt instantly. We changed some things with him at the last minute during the competition, and he listened to the commands and executed like we knew he could.
Bench Press-70/154

Coach Andy and Austin getting their picture taken after the medal ceremony at the USA Games

Austin Ewing

4 Gold Medals
Tournament Champion

Austin is an amazing athlete but more importantly, he is a wonderful person. He is supportive with everyone. If there is anyone who is raising the bar for the inclusion revolution, it is Austin. With Austin, we had a plan made up the very first day we met. Talk about following and executing a plan, this boy dominated the entire competition. He even made the heavier weight classes look silly. Perfect example of, “the biggest isn’t always the strongest.” Just like the lion.
Bench Press-157/347

about the 2022 special olympics usa games

together, we #shine as one

From June 5-12, 2022, the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games united more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean, 20,000 volunteers and 125,000 spectators during one of the country’s most cherished sporting events. We all have reasons to shine. For Special Olympics athletes, one of those reasons is for the love of the sport. Special Olympics athletes display remarkable abilities not only during competition, but in all areas of life. By celebrating their dedication and perseverance, we become champions for a more inclusive world. A world where we all shine as one. Welcome to the inclusion revolution.

Daniel, Austin, Darius, Bradley, and Coach Andy getting their picture taken in front of the castle at Magical Kingdom at Disney World

they rose to the occasion

four athletes who became heroes

Darius, Daniel, Bradley, Austin, and Coach Andy Flexing in front of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games banner

winning is awesome but, the most important thing, especially in powerlifting, is that you’re always competing against yourself. Your goal is to be stronger than you were last year. And as far as being nervous goes, feeling nervous is the best indicator that what you are doing is — in some way — important to you. Whether it be the result or impressing those that are watching, if you are nervous, then there is a good reason for it. If there were ever a reason to focus and do your best, it’s when you are participating in something of importance to you as an individual. Whether you are ready or not is not important in that moment — what is important is that you do the best that you can possibly do right there and then. You can never do more than you are capable of, but you can always do a lot less.

From being away from home for the first-time, first-time flyers, and never competing in an event this big, how could someone be expected to compete with all these factors going on? All I can say is that they rose above all of that and went from being scared, to being heroes. Every day, I got inspired all over again. I was inspired to do more as a coach and to be better as a person. Coaches need coaching too, and after spending so much time with these athletes, they ended up teaching me more than I taught them. The perseverance alone, to be able to go from level zero to hero, was moving. Austin, Daniel, Darius, and Bradley…thank you for the opportunity for allowing me to learn from you and to grow as an individual. These games always play a huge role in my personal development, and the 2022 USA Games have had the biggest impact on my life so far. I hope you guys enjoyed this moment as much as I did. Congratulations on your achievements Team Minnesota.