Go Chris Perdue!

This past Sunday morning, Chris Perdue, age 18, of South Ripley High School, flew out of the Indianapolis International Airport headed to Washington D.C. to meet up with all 200 members of Special Olympics USA. The team gathered later that night, after a day of site seeing, for their official send-off party before departing for the  2017 World Winter Games of Special Olympics.

Representatives from Special Olympics USA Premier Sponsor, Bank of America, alongside SO Cheer, welcomed the delegation. The evening was co-emceed by athlete and member of Special Olympics Southern California’s Board of Directors, Special Olympics Ambassador, and ESPN Analyst for the 2015 and 2017 Special Olympics World Games, Dustin Plunkett. Joining Dustin was Scott Thuman of WJLA.
Wolfgang Waldner, the Ambassador of Austria to the US, wished the national team good luck. The athletes and coaches enjoyed authentic fare while learning German from Andreas Pawlitschek of the Austrian Embassy and enjoying Bavarian tunes from the Edelweiss Band.
The send-off ended in chants of “USA! USA! USA!”
Off to Austria
Team USA departed for Austria Monday evening and will arrive Tuesday morning.
The Facts
When March 14th- 25th 2017
Where Graz, Schladming-Rohrmoos, Ramsau
Who 2,700 athletes of 107 nations
1,100 trainers
3,000 volunteers
5,000 family members/friends
800 congress participants
800 media representatives
1,200 honored guests
Disciplines Figure Skating
Speed Skating
Floor Hockey
Alpine Skiing
Nordic Skiing
Stick Shooting 

Dancing (Demonstration Event)
MATP: Motor Activity Trainings Program (Demonstration Event)

Opening ceremony
March 18th 2017 in Schladming/WM-Stadium Planai
Closing ceremony March 24th 2017 in Graz/Stadium Liebenau
  • Healthy Athletes Program
  • School programs
  • Inclusive programs and competitions
  • Symposia, congresses
  • Culture and Arts programs
  • Host Town Program spread across Austri

Team USA

Special Olympics USA, the national team that represents the United States at the Special Olympics World Summer and Winter Games, is comprised of 141 athletes, 40 coaches and approximately 20 delegation members who support team operations. The delegation also includes Special Olympics Unified Sports teams, where people with and without intellectual disabilities compete together, as teammates. Team members will compete in seven sports: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, floor hockey, snowboarding, snowshoeing and speed skating. Chris will be competing in the sport of snowboarding.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these athletes to demonstrate their athletic abilities, competing at the highest level on the world stage, and to have life and cultural experiences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” said Chris Hahn, Head of Delegation for Special Olympics USA. “I encourage every American to cheer on these inspiring athletes, to share in their triumphs and to take pride in knowing that they will represent our country with excellence and honor.”

This is expected to be the largest Special Olympics World Winter Games in history. An estimated 2,700 athletes from 107 nations will compete in 9 Olympic-type sports at the 2017 Special Olympics World Games.

Chris’ Schedule

  • Sun., 3/12 Depart Indianapolis International Airport for D.C.
  • Mon., 3/13 Depart D.C. with Team USA to Austria
  • Tues., 3/14 Arrive in Austria
  • Wed., 3/15 Home Town Activities
  • Thurs., 3/16 Depart for Game towns/Training Day
  • Fri., 3/17 Inspections & Assessments
  • Sat., 3/18 Divisioning Super-G/Opening Ceremonies
  • Sun., 3/19 Super-G Finals
  • Mon., 3/20 Divisioning Giant Slalom
  • Tues., 3/21 Giant Slalom Finals
  • Fri., 3/24 Award Ceremonies (Snowboarding)/Closing Ceremonies
  • Sat., 3/25 Departs for Home

You can participate!

ESPN will provide full coverage of the event that you can conveniently watch at home.

U.S. TV Schedule:  ESPN’s Coverage of Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria 

Day/Date Program Time (ET) Network
Sat, Mar 18 LIVE: Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 — Opening Ceremony 2-5 p.m. ABC
Sun, Mar 19  Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 2-3 p.m. ABC
Mon, Mar 20  Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 6-6:30 p.m. ESPN2
Tue, Mar 21  Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 6-7 p.m. ESPN2
Wed, Mar 22  Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 6-7 p.m. ESPN2
Thu, Mar 23  Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 6-7 p.m. ESPN2
Fri, Mar 24  Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 6-7 p.m. ESPN2
Sun, Mar 26  Best of the Games 2-3 p.m. ABC

NOTE:   All shows will also be simulcast on the ESPN App and WatchESPN

For more information about ESPN’s coverage visit http://www.austria2017.org/en/news-medien/news/news-detail/espns-groundbreaking-coverage-of-special-olympics-world-winter-games.

For more information about the World Winter games visit http://www.austria2017.org/en/home.

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