March 2020 Winners

Nela Polan
Female Athlete of the Month

Nela Polan is a Special Olympics Colorado Fitness Captain from the Western Slope and is also part of the Athlete Leadership University (ALU). She currently competes in basketball, softball, and track and field.

Nela stands out as an athlete for her skills as a teammate. She is very supportive of her teammates, on and off the field. She has embraced her role as a Fitness Captain, and always works to make sure all Fitness Captains with Special Olympics Colorado have the resources they need to be successful.

Congratulations, Nela, on being this month’s Female Athlete of the Month!


Jordan Hall
Male Athlete of the Month

Congratulations to Jordan Hall, our Male Athlete of the Month! Jordan is a Fitness Captain and currently competes in tennis, basketball, flag football, track and field, volleyball and bowling throughout the year.

Jordan is also involved with ALU and is studying communications.

As a Fitness Captain, Jordan is always willing to help out with events outside of his regular Fitness Captain duties, such as helping teach Unified Juniors the basketball warm-up so they can warm up properly before they begin their practices and games.

Congratulations Jordan, thank you for all you do for Special Olympics Colorado!


Sean Sundermann
Coach of the Month

Sean is the head coach on the newly formed Team Grommet, an Alpine Ski Team based in Denver. Sean is a long time Winter Games Organizing Committee volunteer, who leads in setting courses for practices and Regional and State competitions, while also supporting training events at Copper Mountain for other ski coaches throughout the State.

Sean also trained his young daughter, Casey, which inspired him to start his own youth Alpine team for other young skiers!

The Winter Season saw Team Grommet compete in both Front Range and State Winter Games with four new Special Olympics Colorado youth skiers, all under the age of 11, making them the youngest ski team in the state! Sean’s passion and commitment to his team is unparalleled and we look forward to seeing Team Grommet grow in 2021.

Congratulations, Sean! We’re very happy to recognize you as March’s Coach of the Month!


The Sharpe Family
Family of the Month

The Sharpe Family has been a staple in the Special Olympics Colorado family for almost 40 years!

Tim has been a SOCO athlete for 38 years and his mother, Joan has been involved for 39 years as a coach. Together, Joan and Tim compete in almost every Special Olympics Colorado sport. They are constantly encouraging athletes to be their best self every day and make healthy decisions!

Congratulations to the Sharpe family on being our March Family of the Month!


Jack Therkildsen
Volunteer of the Month

Jack has been involved with Special Olympics Colorado (SOCO) for 33 years as a parent, volunteer, and coach.  He is currently the Head Coach of the Trailblazers, an Alpine Ski Team out of Denver (formerly known as the High Plains Alpine Ski Team). Jack is the definition of a positive role model. He consistently goes above and beyond to ensure that all SOCO athletes have both a meaningful and rewarding experience. Jack works closely with the Alpine volunteer team to set up additional clinics for his team to ensure they receive great training and continue to improve (even at the advanced level).

In addition to his talents and dedication as a coach, Jack is always willing to lend a hand. He has been absolutely instrumental in providing van transportation for athletes throughout the Winter Season, donating his free time to help with the mid-season race, extra pickups and trips out to Copper Mountain!

Jack enjoys volunteering with SOCO because of the smiles from athletes, coaches, all the volunteers, and the staff. “Every activity that I have been involved with, either as a coach or a parent, has been a positive experience,” says Jack. “I enjoy watching the athletes expand their physical and social comfort zones resulting in big smiles of achievement or just having fun.”

We are honored to call Jack part of the SOCO family. Congratulations on being March’s Volunteer of the Month!


The Smile Generation
Community Partner of the Month

The Smile Generation joined the Special Olympics Colorado family in 2019 as a sponsor, and in 2020 increased their support to become a Gold Level Annual Partner.

They support the Polar Plunge Series, LETR Kickoff Conference, Summer Classic, and Snow Ball. This year, they are also the presenting sponsor of the Spread the Word: Inclusion Campaign, which calls on everyone to make a pledge to take action for inclusion in their school, community or workplace.

The Smile Generation is passionate about ensuring athletes are educated, informed, and have equal access to dental care. Thankfully, The Smile Generation has over 65 locations with more than 130 doctors ready to serve athletes and their families. We are so grateful for The Smile Generation’s support!