Boothbay Region Special Olympics Coach Toby LeConte announced Sept. 6, Amber Hyson and Ronda LeConte have been chosen for the 2022 National Summer Special Olympics. The games will be held June 5-12 in Orlando, Florida and were rescheduled from 2021 due to the pandemic.
Both athletes will participate at different levels in swimming events, Amber in the 25-yard and 50-yard and Ronda in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke or fly. LeConte said the events have not been determined yet and venues are still being organized. Isaac Pray was selected for track and field, but declined due to his two-year commitment to Strive University.
Ronda LeConte has been a national athlete and Hyson has gone to nationals three times as an alternate and will be participating as a national athlete for the first time. “Both girls were so surprised at the announcement at the Special Olympics meeting in June. They both have begun swim practice and dry land training.”
Their swim coaches will be Robin Mendenhall of Bangor, who has coached nationals before, and Colin Vidas of Husson University, a new coach to nationals, said LeConte. Athletes have been practicing at Alfond Youth Recreation Center in Waterville and Boothbay Region YMCA, the YWCA in Lewiston and Camp Fernwood in Oxford.
Maine’s team will also send athletes in track and field, golf, bowling, individual and unified bocce, and tennis. LeConte said all Maine athletes who have won a medal in the sport and have been involved for a couple years were eligible to apply for a spot and a committee chose the final competitors.