Kaasa to take part in Special Olympics National Games

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 14, 2006

This summer, 86 Special Olympics Minnesota athletes and 25 coaches will head to Ames, Iowa for the first-ever Special Olympics National Games July 1-8.

Team Minnesota will join 3,500 other athletes, 2,000 coaches, 12,000 family members and friends, 8,000 volunteers and 30,000 spectators for what promises to be an exciting event.

Athletes will compete in aquatics, golf, softball, athletics, gymnastics, tennis, basketball, motor activities, volleyball, bocce, powerlifting, bowling and soccer.

Events surrounding the sports activities will include Opening and Closing Ceremonies and a National Youth Summit, which will bring together youth with and without intellectual disabilities.

On Saturday, Jan. 21, the Minnesota Delegation for the 2006 Special Olympics USA National Games was introduced at the Special Olympics Minnesota Leadership Conference.

The 86 athletes and 22 coaches represent 10 of 12 areas and 27 of our local delegations.

Kellen Kaasa of Glenville was selected to the golf team.

Kellen has participated in Special Olympics for 15 years.

He has participated in bowling, track and field, swimming and golf.

Kaasa has won several gold medals at the state golf tournaments.

He especially enjoys participating in the unified golf events where he can have his brother Devin as a partner.

They took the silver medal at the National Invitational in Beaumont, Calif. in Sept. of 2004. Minnesota will not be participating in unified golf this year.

Kaasa will get to have Devin as his caddy at the tournament.

Kaasa has also participated in the Matt Blair Golf Classic, and the annual Draft Party which are both fund-raisers for Special Olympics, and the Sparky golf fund-raiser last summer, sponsored by American Bank, which raised money for Freeborn County ARC and other local charities.

Kaasa is employed at Hy-Vee in Albert Lea.