Local Athletes and Coach to Represent Team Wisconsin at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games

Nov. 5, 2013

Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) selected Kenny Kostanski, Rebecca Stepflug and Coach Rita Stelpflug of Menomonee Falls to represent Team Wisconsin at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in Princeton, New Jersey on June 14-21, 2014. Wisconsin athletes will compete in athletics, aquatics, bocce, bowling, flag football, gymnastics, powerlifting and volleyball.

Kostanski has competed in Special Olympics aquatics, basketball, bowling, flag football, golf, and volleyball for the past 10 years, but this will be his first time attending the Special Olympics USA Games. He said he was encouraged to attend an event at the national level after performing well at the SOWI State Games.

“Special Olympics makes me feel like a champion because I practice and work hard to be stronger and healthier. I used to be overweight,” he said. “Special Olympics helped me lose weight.”

In addition to improving his health, Kostanski said he has experienced many social benefits from participating in Special Olympics.

“It has given me many new friends and sports to look forward to participating in with my teammates,” he said. “I am so excited to meet people from other states.”

When he is not competing or training, Kostanski works at the Community Memorial Hospital in Environmental Services. Kostanski will compete in aquatics.

Stelpflug has competed in Special Olympics Wisconsin aquatics, basketball, flag football, golf, volleyball, and snowshoeing for the past 13 years. Stelpflug previously attended the 2010 Special Olympics USA Games in Lincoln, Nebraska and the 2011 Special Olympics World Games in Athens, Greece.

“Special Olympics makes me feel I can do anything I want to!” said Stelpflug. “[Special Olympics has changed my life] because it has improved my social communication skills and granted me an opportunity to train and compete in many sports year-round.”

Stelpflug said this is a chance of a lifetime and she is looking forward to meeting athletes from other states. According to Stelpflug, her mother Rita adopted her from Peru when she was just four-months-old and has been her biggest cheerleader. When she isn’t competing or training, Stelpflug works at Marquette University Dental School as a Sterilization Technician .Stelpflug will compete in flag football.

Stepflug’s mother, Rita, has been very involved in the organization and has coached athletes bowling, aquatics, golf, flag football, snowshoeing and team basketball. She will serve as the Head Coach in bowling and will be one of 86 delegates representing Team Wisconsin at the 2014 USA Games in New Jersey.
As a certified SOWI clinician, she has also worked with athletes to improve their skill sets and advance in competition.

“As a coach, I have watched athletes develop skills and obtain personal bests they can be truly proud of,” she said. “I believe Special Olympics is more than just sports training – it also helps our athletes experience friendship, independence, confidence.”

Coach Stelpflug, who works as a Field Representative at the Department of Commerce, attended the 2010 USA Games as a volunteer; this will mark her first appearance as a coach.

SOWI will host an official training camp for Team Wisconsin athletes on May 17-18, 2014 at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The 2014 USA Games will showcase the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities, promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport, and celebrate the transformative power of Special Olympics. A total of 3,500 athletes, 1,000 coaches and delegates, 10,000 volunteers and 70,000 spectators will attend.

Sports competition will be held at venues throughout Mercer County, New Jersey, including Princeton University, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, Mercer County Park and several area private schools. There will be ample opportunities for supporters across the state to show their spirit and join the team through volunteerism, donations and attendance. For more information or to learn more about how you can support a local athlete, visit www.SpecialOlympicsWisconsin.org.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.

Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» River Lane Inn in Brown Deer sold to Pastiche owner Updated:  11/25

» Whitefish Bay Holiday Stroll coming on Friday 11/25

» Bomb squad examines grenade found in Brown Deer house 11/25

» Inspired by Popp, Homestead seizes fifth state football title 11/25

» Sport Shorts: Nov. 26, 2015 11/25

» Shorewood robbery suspects face charges 11/25

» River Lane Inn will become Pastiche 11/25

» Woodland champion Shorewood girls basketball team looks for third title 11/25

» Homestead girls basketball team has high expectations 11/25

» Highlanders rejoice over state football title 11/25

» Shorewood School District raises $1 million for STEAM programs 11/24

» Crews battle house fire in Brown Deer; 2 cats killed Updated:  11/23

» Cats, guinea pig die in fire 11/23

» Mequon woman reported missing 11/23

» Homestead wins fifth state football title, 28-12, over Waukesha West 11/20

» Build-your-own pizza place coming to Shorewood next year 11/20

» Shorewood families want to host Syrian refugees 11/20

» Updated state championship game rankings of area prep football teams and players 11/19

» Homestead football team faces uphill title fight against West 11/18

» Wolf and Zortman fill in each other's gaps well 11/18

» Apartments, assisted living pitched in Mequon development 11/18

» Mequon-Thiensville's Demond Means says MPS role won't interfere with his day job 11/18

» Hayes helps Brown Deer/USM swimming team set two program records 11/18

» Oak Leaf Trail extension links Milwaukee to Ozaukee County Updated:  11/18

» Jorn finishes swimming career well, leads Shorewood to 11th at state 11/18

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss



Local Business Directory