Last updated: June 19. 2014 9:01AM - 235 Views

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Russellville Special Olympics athletes Tony Mayes and Lee Dockins both completed preliminary events today at the Special Olympics USA Games in Mercer County, New Jersey.

At Princeton University, Mayes finished second in his heat of the 800-meter walk, crossing the line in a time of 5:51.53. Tomorrow Mayes will compete in the 4x100-meter run and the 400-meter walk to close out his preliminary events before heading into medal competitions on Thursday.

Gymnast Lee Dockins finished the preliminary round of her event today, finishing with an all-around score of 66.675 to put her in second place heading into the final round on Thursday. Dockins scored an 18.675 in the uneven bars for her best event of the day. Preliminaries count as 25% of the final score with finals accounting for 75%.

Team Kentucky is made up of 38 athletes, one Unified Partner and 16 coaches from throughout the state. Kentucky athletes will compete in Aquatics (swimming), Artistic Gymnastics, Athletics (track and field), Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Flag Football and Golf.

The 2014 Special Olympics USA National Games will be the third USA National Games that Special Olympics has held. Previous games were held in 2006 in Ames, Iowa, and 2010 in Lincoln, Neb. The Games will bring together 3,500 athletes and 1,000 coaches from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Games will feature 14 sports as well as a number of cultural and social activities for the athletes. Each athlete will go on a dinner cruise around Manhattan and attend a minor league baseball game. There will also be opportunities to receive free health screenings at the Healthy Athletes venue and a chance to spend time at Olympic Town, an interactive festival-style area. The official Games Web site is 2014specialolympics.org.

Kentucky has had tremendous success at the USA Games. The 2010 Team Kentucky group consisted of 39 athletes and claimed 34 medals, including 10 Golds. The 2006 National Games team saw 42 athletes capture 42 medals, including 18 Golds.

For more information about Team Kentucky or the 2014 Special Olympics USA National Games, contact Special Olympics Kentucky Vice President of Programs and Team Kentucky Head of Delegation Kim Satterwhite at 800-633-7403 or via e-mail at ksatterwhite@soky.org.

Special Olympics is the world’s largest program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Participation in competitive events is open to all individuals eight years of age or older. Training and competition in local, area, state, and national programs is offered year-round in Kentucky in 15 sports. In addition to its traditional sports competitions, Special Olympics also offers early childhood programming through the Young Athletes Program and medical screenings though the Healthy Athletes Initiative. Special Olympics Kentucky has been changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in Kentucky for 44 years.

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