The six athletes from Team Nevada are back home after a successful showing at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, including winning two gold medals and a bronze medal. Held in Orlando over the past week, Team Nevada athletes competed in swimming, track & field and bowling.
Team Nevada results below:
- Jordan Lechtenberger, Las Vegas: Swimming - Gold medal, 200yd freestyle; 7th place, 100 yd freestyle,
- Lakisha Taylor, Carson City: Track and Field - Gold medal, 100m run; 5th place shot put
- Jacqueline Gilpin, South Lake Tahoe: Bowling – Bronze medal, bowling singles; 7th place bowling doubles
- Devin Gaffney, Las Vegas: Swimming - 4th place, 50yd freestyle; 4th place 25yd backstroke
- Eric Barber, Winnemucca: Track and Field - 5th place, long jump; 7th place, shot put; 7th place 100m run
- Samantha Aslin, Mesquite: Bowling - 5th place, bowling singles; 7th place bowling doubles
“Our Team Nevada athletes showed determination, discipline, grace, and the spirit of friendly competition in each of their events,” said Terrence Thornton, executive director of Special Olympics Nevada. “I am so proud of how our athletes represented Nevada to the world and this unforgettable experience will stay with them and the SONV team for a lifetime.”
Before heading to Orlando for the competition, Caesar Entertainment treated Team Nevada to a gold-star send-off event and hosted a special dinner and presentation at HELL’S KITCHEN where Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay surprised the athletes with a video congratulating them and wishing them luck at this year’s games.
Following dinner, the athletes were cheered on during a “walk of honor” by Caesars Entertainment leadership and team members, Las Vegas Raiders punter, AJ Cole and Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver, Mack Hollins, Las Vegas Aces mascot, Buckets, Henderson Silver Knights mascot, Lucky and members of southern Nevada’s law enforcement agencies as they got into their limos for a police-escorted ride to airport.
The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games featured 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean. The USA Games is hosted once every four years and, for the first time in its history, will have 19 Olympic-style team and individual sports and 30 events throughout the event.