Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) athlete Ian Rawn (Plano, TX) has been selected to compete in Figure Skating at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria, which will be held March 14-25, 2017 in Graz, Schladming, Ramsau and Styria. The Plano resident will be the lone Texan representing his country on Special Olympics USA at the 2017 Games.
Special Olympics USA is the national team that represents the United States at the Special Olympics World Summer and Winter Games.
Rawn, 33, started with Special Olympics in 2004 after moving from Sewickley, Pennsylvania to Texas and has been figure skating since 2008. Rawn also competes in volleyball and is a certified basketball coach for the Richardson Roadrunners. As a Global Messenger, Rawn gives speeches about his Special Olympics experience to people of the local community.
“My best memory was when I opened the letter that told me I was selected to represent my state, my city, my country and my sport at the World Winter Games in Austria,” Rawn said.
From December 12-15, Rawn will attend Special Olympics USA Training Camp in Killington, Vermont where he will prepare for the Games with six other U.S. figure skaters. Rawn has already gotten a head start, as he has altered his practice routine, increasing his lessons from once a week to three times per week.
“He has been motivated to train at a new level and runs around the neighborhood a few times per week,” his mother Cinde Rawn said.
The Special Olympics World Winter Games were held in Austria in 1993 and will be returning to the country in 2017. More than 3,000 athletes from 110 nations will travel to Austria to compete across nine sports. Over 15,000 people will participate in the Special Olympics World Winter Games in 2017.
Special Olympics USA is comprised of 150 athletes, 40 coaches and approximately 20 delegation members who support team operations, for a total delegation of 210. The delegation also includes Special Olympics Unified Sports teams, where people with and without intellectual disabilities compete together, as teammates. Team members will compete in seven sports: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, floor hockey, snowboarding, snowshoeing and speed skating.
In addition to the 3,000 athletes expected from 110 countries, there will be 5,000 family members, 1,100 coaches, 1,000 media representatives, 3,000 volunteers and 1,200 honored guests expected.
About Special Olympics Texas
Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect. SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 53,400 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. To learn more, visitwww.specialolympicstexas.org or call 800.876.5646. Engage with us on: Twitter @SOTexas;fb.com/SpecialOlympicsTX; youtube.com/specialolympicstexas.