Valley team to compete in 2022 Special Olympics World Winter Games

Apr 24, 2021, 12:00 PM
(Special Olympics Arizona Photo)...
(Special Olympics Arizona Photo)
(Special Olympics Arizona Photo)

PHOENIX — The Special Olympics Arizona Unified Floorball team will be heading to Kazan, Russia, next January to compete in the 2022 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

The indoor hockey team, led by volunteer coach and Shadow Ridge High School teacher Julie Rodriguez, is comprised of athletes from SOAZ and current/former students from the Dysart Unified School District who went through competitive tryouts to make the squad.

“It was a tough decision, because we had so many great athletes competing to make the team,” Rodriguez said in a press release. “But ultimately we had to make some tough decisions to cut the roster to 10.

“We want to have a competitive team to represent the U.S. and show the world what the athletes at the Dysart Unified School District can really accomplish with an inclusive campus, where we live, learn and play unified.”

The team has set a goal to raise $90,000 to help cover travel and participation costs.

The Special Olympics aims to create acceptance and inclusion through sport, volunteerism, education and health.

More than 2,000 athletes and partners from 108 nations, as well as 3,000 volunteers from all over the world, will gather in Russia from January 22-28 for the Winter Games.

“We are so proud of this team and excited for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them to travel to Russia and compete in the World Winter Games,” Jamie Heckerman, president and CEO of Special Olympics Arizona, said in the release.

“We know they will proudly represent the state of Arizona, as well as being outstanding representatives for inclusion.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)...

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema leaves Democratic Party, registers as independent

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema announced Friday she is registering as an independent, leaving the Democratic Party but promising her work won't change.
7 hours ago
FILE - Border Patrol agents patrol along a line of shipping containers stacked near the border on A...
Kevin Stone

Arizona border sheriff backs protesters impeding shipping container installation

A southern Arizona sheriff said protesters have been keeping crews from stacking shipping containers at the U.S.-Mexico border, and he's good with it.
7 hours ago
(AP Photo/Oliver de Ros)...

Guatemalan man facing charges after allegedly assaulting Arizona border patrol agent

A Guatemalan man was arrested last week for allegedly assaulting a border patrol agent while he was illegally crossing the border.
7 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation Flickr Photo)...

No scheduled closures on Phoenix-area freeways for third consecutive weekend

Phoenix-area drivers won't have to worry about closures on freeways for a third straight weekend as there are no scheduled projects.
7 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Ballet Arizona -- Twitter Photo/@ArizonaCoyotes)...

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around metro Phoenix for Dec. 9-11

The Arizona Coyotes are back in town, more holiday festivities are underway and museums could be your next favorite winter go-to spot.
7 hours ago

Charles Barkley happy for Brittney Griner’s Russia release, feels for still-imprisoned Paul Whelan

Charles Barkley is happy fellow Valley basketball icon Brittney Griner was released from Russia in a prisoner swap, but feels for Paul Whelan.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Valley team to compete in 2022 Special Olympics World Winter Games