Oswego Special Olympian Nominated to National Team
Mar 24, 2016 01:06PM
● By Steven Jack
Julie Hilger of Oswego competes in cross-country skiing through the Kendall County Comets.
Special Olympics Illinois has announced that an Oswego woman has been nominated as an alternate to the Special Olympics USA team that will represent the United States at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.
Julie Hilger competes in cross-country skiing through the Kendall County Comets. She will travel to Austria in March if one of her teammates is not able to attend, said Alexandra McMillan, spokeswoman for Special Olympics Illinois.
"It’s still a very big honor to be nominated from such a large pool of athletes," she said.
The nominated Illinois athletes and alternates will attend a Special Olympics USA training camp in Killington, Vt., in December 2016 or January 2017 during which they will be evaluated for final acceptance for the national team.
Every two years, the world transcends the boundaries of geography, nationality, political philosophy, gender, age, culture and religion to come together for Special Olympics World Games.
Alternating between summer and winter Games, this event is the flagship event of the Special Olympics movement, which promotes equality, tolerance and acceptance through the power and joy of sport.
This prominent world stage brings attention to the Special Olympics movement and the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. Currently, more than 4.5 million Special Olympics athletes train and compete year-round in 170 nations across the globe.
More than 3,000 athletes from 110 nations will compete in 8 Olympic-type sports at the 2017 World Winter Games: figure skating, speed skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing, alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding and stick shooting.
An anticipated 3,000 volunteers, 5,000 family members/friends, 1,000 media representatives and 1,200 MVP-fans are expected to attend the 2017 Special Olympics World Games in Graz, Schladming and Styria, Austria.
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY SPECIAL OLYMPICS ILLINOIS