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Three Owassons chosen to attend 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle

Owasso Reporter - 6/22/2018

Related story: Owasso team competes in Special Olympics Summer Games, sets milestones in competition

Saturday, June 30, couldn't come soon enough for Susan St. John.

St. John, head coach for the Owasso Special Olympics team, and her two daughters, Vanessa St. John and Chelsea Teague, are gearing up for one of the biggest trips of their lives.

The three Owassons have been chosen out of 50 Oklahomans to attend the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington, held Sunday-Friday, July 1-6.

Team Oklahoma will join thousands of Special Olympics athletes, unified partners and coaches from across the nation, along with tens of thousands of volunteers, family members and fans, for a week of special events and competitions in 14 team and individual sports.

"It's very exciting," said St. John, who will be participating in bocce singles, unified doubles and four-man teams. "It's just an honor to be selected to represent your state at national level; it's an honor to represent Owasso."

St. John currently works as the school psychologist at Owasso High School. Vanessa also teaches special education at OHS and serves as a certified coach for the Special Olympics, and Chelsea works in the child nutrition department at Bailey Elementary and competes as an athlete in the program.

In May, the trio returned from the 49th annual Special Olympics Oklahoma Summer Games in Stillwater, where they brought home 52 medals: 13 in Elementary Track & Field, 12 in Unified Basketball, and 27 in Unified Bocce.

St. John and her daughters, actively involved in the program for several years, have continued to bring one of the largest delegations to the summer games every year, said John Seals, head of delegation and Special Olympics Oklahoma program director.

"Susan's one of the best coaches in the state," Seals said. "They are dedicated, to not only just the sport, but the cause and the whole movement of Special Olympics. They represent our oath."

Send-off parties are scheduled for the team's departure on Saturday at the Tulsa International Airport and Will Rogers Airport.

Team Oklahoma's journey will begin with the Opening Ceremony on Sunday, July 1, by marching in the Parade of Athletes at the University of Washington'sHusky Stadium. The Oklahoma Softball Team has also been selected to lead the flag procession during the inaugural event.

ABC will broadcast the Opening Ceremony live starting at 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET. Viewers can follow Team Oklahoma's progress throughout the USA Games by tuning in to ESPN for their daily coverage of events during the week.

When asked what participating in the USA Games means to her, St. John simply replied, "It's just something you can't put into words, it's that big."


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