2019 USA Global Games Team Set to Compete in Brisbane
For Immediate Release August 1, 2019
Visit our Global Games US Team Page for regular updates about US participation.
Athletes Without Limits is proud to announce the 22 athletes who will represent the United States at the 2019 INAS Global Games in Brisbane October 11th-19th—the world’s biggest elite sports event for athletes with intellectual impairments.
The team is the largest the US has assembled for an INAS competition and consists of defending Inas World Champions, Paralympians, and debutants competing in Rowing, Swimming, Taekwondo and Track & Field. Together the team and staff represent 14 different US States.
USA first saw representation at the Inas Global Games in 2009, just weeks after Athletes Without Limits became the U.S. Member of Inas, the International Federation for athletes with Intellectual Impairments.
This year marks the first Global Games to include not one, but three eligibility groups in order to include and be fair to a wider field of athletes with Autism, Down Syndrome, and Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities — a change Inas Governing Board Member Barry Holman helped drive through collaboration with leadership from other Inas member organizations, including Australia.
“Athletes Without Limits owes a great debt to this year’s Global Games hosts Sport Inclusion Australia, who took us under their wing at our first Global Games, and have been an inspiration to our athletes, coaches and leadership ever since.” said Julie Holman, who has served as Head of the US Global Games Delegations since 2009. “Since seeing is believing, the level of competition and sportsmanship seen by our athletes and Coaches at the Games tends to bring out the best in everyone.”
US Athletes will compete in four of the ten sports that will take place at the Games: Athletics, Rowing, Swimming & Taekwondo.
2019 USA Global Games Team
Jesse Garcia (VA)
Bruce Worley (MD)
Mark Worley (MD)
Jacob Basini (NY)
Anna “Libby” Beem (GA)
Lauren Bergquist (FL)
Leslie Cichocki (IL)
Corinne Harris (CA)
Andres Hernandez (TX)
Garner Moss (WI)
Tessa Nagy (CA)
Ian Soules (FL)
Katya Vazhenin (GA)
Morgan Barber (OR)
Blaguna Graham (MT)
Shania Hershey (PA)
Jisoo Kim (CA)
Eric Wright (PA)
TRACK & FIELD:
Starlette Menendez (NY)
Kenneth Noguchi (CA)
Christopher Tucker (MN)
Tyler Wigington (WI)
2019 USA Global Games Staff
The Athletics Team will be headed up by Coach Scott Brinen, with 2019 being the first time the US will compete in Field events as well as on the Track at an Inas event.
US Rowers will compete both indoors and on water, led by Athletes Without Limits National Program Director and Head Coach Patrick Johnson, with assistance from Team Staff Favio Garcia. Johnson is also a member of the Inas International Rowing Committee.
Our growing US Taekwondo Team will be led by Johnny Birch, Athletes Without Limits National Program Director, whose efforts helped returning US Team Member Eric Wright capture the first ever Inas Taekwondo Gold medal at the 2015 Inas Global Games in Ecuador.
Athletes Without Limits Head Swim Coach Celeste Schyterz will partner with USA Down Syndrome Swimming Head Coach Julie Reilly, with support from Athletes Without Limits Staff Courtney Haber and Team Veteran Leslie Cichocki, a 2016 Rio U.S. Paralympic Team Member. The highly competitive Swim and Athletics competitions at the Games are sanctioned both by Inas and by World Para Swimming and World Para Athletics respectively, providing an ideal opportunity for 2020 Paralympic Team contenders to earn qualifying times.
US Team Leadership includes Julie Holman, Head of US Delegation, Barry Holman, Head of US Sports (and Oversight Chair for the Games in his role as an Inas Governing Board Member), along with Ian Conyers, who returns for his second Global Games having proven himself invaluable as overall team support at the 2015 Global Games in Ecuador.
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