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July 2020 Winners

Caitlin Hass
Athlete of the Month

Caitlin has competed in Special Olympics Colorado since she was eight years old. She has competed in a variety of sports in those 12 years, including basketball, swimming and soccer.

Caitlin’s favorite memory with Special Olympics Colorado was when she qualified for USA Games at the 2017 State Summer Games in Grand Junction. She competed in swimming and there was a new division called the High-Performance division, which had two different races: the 100 IM and the 100 Freestyle. She had to qualify based on time, and qualified for both, leading her to USA Games in Seattle, Washington. “That day was so exciting because I received a chance of a lifetime to go to Seattle and compete,” said Caitlin. “That experience was amazing.”

Cailin said the coolest part of USA Games was that her dad was also the coach for the Team Colorado swim team, so she got to go through this experience with him. She earned two silver medals, a bronze medal (she said she’s most proud of this one), and a 5th place ribbon. She also loved exploring Seattle while she was there! “It was one of the greatest experiences of my life,” said Caitlin.

In addition to competing, Caitlin is involved in the Athlete Leadership Program and is part of the communications track. She said she wanted to become an athlete leader because she wanted to help become an advocate for people like herself and others she has met through Special Olympics Colorado. She said it is also a great way to meet other future leaders that have some of the same goals as she does!

When she’s not competing, Caitlin has received her associate’s degree from Northeastern Junior College and is now taking online classes at the University of Northern Colorado. She said she hopes to get involved with the Special Olympics programs offered on UNC’s campus this fall. She is also currently working in HR at the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office. “It is my first job and I think its cool,” Caitlin exclaimed.

Congratulations, Caitlin on being selected as the July Athlete of the Month!

 

Blaine Dodson
Coach of the Month

Blaine has been a Special Olympics Colorado coach for four years. He coaches basketball for the Sharks and bowling for the Springs Wolverines.

Blaine got involved with Special Olympics because his son, Dylan, loves sports, along with the rest of their family. Dylan has Down syndrome and competes for Special Olympics.

Blaine always has a positive attitude and handles any task given to him with kindness and compassion. He does his best to ensure his teams receive all important information and opportunities offered to them in the Southeast and State events. Blaine also does his best to keep his own athletes involved with Special Olympics throughout the year and in other sports.

“My favorite memory as a coach is seeing the happiness these kids have during the sports,” said Blaine. “They are very competitive but I love to see the joy and happiness on their faces.”

Thank you, Blaine, and congratulations on being nominated as July’s Coach of the Month!

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