First US Team to Compete at Global Games in Czech Republic July 5-14
JUNE 29, 2009 – Athletes Without Limits, the USA Federation for Elite Athletes with Intellectual Disability, announces the first ever US team for the INAS-FID Global Games, Liberec, Czech Republic July 5-14, 2009. At the Games, nearly 1,500 elite athletes with intellectual disability from 40 countries will compete for world championships in nine sports.
Like the Olympics, each Global Games sport is officiated by and run according to the rules of the sport’s international governing body, including drug testing. Medals will be awarded to the top 3 overall finishers in each event, as there are no special divisions. Final winning times might surprise those unfamiliar with the high-level of competition at INAS-FID events.
“Picture an athlete who runs a 2:33 marathon,” said Barry Holman (Washington, DC) head coach of the US Team and co-founder of Athletes Without Limits. “Most would not imagine that athlete having an intellectual disability, Some but that is the current INAS-FID world marathon record held by Paulo Pinheiro of Portugal. With the startup of Athletes Without Limits, we are wholesale MLB jerseys committed to helping US athletes achieve similar accomplishments in their chosen sports — our trip to this summer’s Global Games is just the beginning.”
Representing the US will be cyclist, Syd Lea (Taneytown, MD), a silver and bronze medalist at the 2008 INAS-FID World Cycling Championships who is looking to add a gold medal to that count. Lea, 24, will compete against other elite male cyclists from around the world in a 5-day stage race. Events include time trials and road races of varying distances culminating in a grueling, 3+ hour, 60km road race around the mountains of Cesky Dub.
Lea, 24, wholesale jerseys is a category 4/5 track and road cyclist racing against non-disabled cyclists in local and national US Cycling Federation events. A graduate of Francis Scott Key High School, Lea is currently employed as a groundskeeper at Mount St. Mary’s University and often rides his bike 30+ miles to and from work as part of his training. Lea comes from a family of elite athletes including his bother, Bobby Lea, 26, a professional cyclist who was a member of the 2008 Olympic Track Cycling Team.
Representing the US are two swimmers from Bucks County, Team Maria D’Andrea (Bensalem, PA) and Gail Morning (Warrington, PA). D’Andrea, 18, is member of the Bensalem High School Swim team while Morning, 25, cheap NFL jerseys is wholesale NFL jerseys a multi-sport athlete (swimming and powerlifting) who is no 100 stranger to international competition. Both athletes are accomplished Special Olympians moving up to elite international competition and are coached by Karen Fisher (Mechanicsville, PA).
At the Global Games, 150 swimmers will compete in a total of 42 events; the US swimmers will compete in 12 races each over four days. In order to enter, they had to meet high qualification standards. For example, the minimum qualifying time for the women’s long course 50m Freestyle is 39 seconds, while the current INAS-FID record in that Maritime event is an impressive 29 seconds.
The US delegation will be led by Athletes Without Limits co-founders, Head Coach Barry Holman and Team Manager Julie Holman while Richard Murby of FWD Media in Washington DC will document the US athletes’ experiences on film. Several parents and relatives also plan to travel with the team to show their support.