Meet Diane Mikulis

As She Leads Team Maryland to the 2014 Nat'l Games

Princeton, New Jersey, will host the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games from June 14 to 21. The 160 athletes who make up Team Maryland couldn't ask for a more dedicated leader or a stronger advocate than their Head of Delegation, Diane Mikulis.

With over 3,500 athletes from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, these Games will be the largest sporting event in the world in 2014. By comparison, the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi had 2,873 athletes, and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil — with only 35 teams — will have less than 1,000 athletes.

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President's Message

"Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt" -athlete oath

On March 27, the Special Olympics Maryland Board of Directors elected Baltimore native and Special Olympics Maryland athlete Annu Singleton to join them on the board. When I called him to share the good news, he responded, "Thank you, Jim. I am excited to be on the board." In turn I asked, "What excites you about the opportunity?" Annu replied, "I have ideas, for example, we should have programs for adults in the same sports we did in school, like speed skating . . . and we should do adult area spring games in Baltimore City."

Annu serves as an exceptional ambassador for the mission of our movement. Over the last six months, he has never hesitated when I ask him for support. I asked him three times to take a trip to Sandy Point State Park and plunge into the icy Chesapeake Bay so we could shoot some pre-plunge promo videos. Each time he plunged with me and urged others to join us for the Plunge. He joined me for two Ravens Roosts meetings to thank them for their tremendous support. And on the eve of the Plunge, he came with me to share his story in front of hundreds of travel agents in town for a meeting with our friend and corporate partner, Carnival. I hope you will read more about Annu in this issue of IMPACT, along with the other stories that demonstrate how our athletes transform lives and help build better communities every day across Maryland.

I am lucky and proud to have Annu as my friend, and I invite you to join me in cheering on Annu and 1200+ other athletes at our Summer Games, June 6-8 at Towson University.

Always Brave in the Attempt,

James C. Schmutz
President and CEO

New friendships through first time experience with Unified Sports®

When you support our Interscholastic Unified Sports®, you're breaking down barriers and promoting social inclusion. And that works both ways.

Ever since Allison, a freshman at Queen Anne's County High School, joined Interscholastic Unified Sports® earlier this year, the people around her have begun to see big changes.

"I believe Allison feels more comfortable meeting new people now," says Ann Johnson, her coach. "Allison has formed new friendships with students whom she normally would not have the opportunity to meet."

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5 Questions With… ANNU Singleton

1. How long have you been a Special Olympics athlete?

I've been involved with Special Olympics Maryland for 14 years through the Baltimore City Program. I first started in elementary school; it was either 3rd or 4th grade. I became more involved with Special Olympics Maryland during my high school years.

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From Teammates to Brothers

When Darrell recently found himself homeless, with no place to turn, Robert Massey and his wife Carla opened their hearts and their home to Darrell, welcoming him in as a member of their family. Coach Massey has coached Darrell on his softball team for the last two years. During that time, Darrell forged a friendship with Jason, Coach Massey's son, who was excited to welcome Darrell in as if he was his brother.

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Basketball State Championships

Hood College, Urbana HS, Oakdale HS, and Tuscarora HS hosted the 2014 SOMD State Championship Basketball Tournament on March 22-23. More than 1,000 athletes from 14 programs competed in Individual Skills Competition, 3v3 and 5v5 Traditional/Unified Basketball Competitions. More than 40 coaches prepared the athletes, and over 250 volunteers spent 1,500 hours to make the Basketball State Championships a success.

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