Summer Games Recap: Gators Bring Home 25 Medals

Athletes from The Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA)’s Gator Athletics competed in Illinois State University’s annual Special Olympics Summer Games. The Gators achieved an impressive tally of 25 medals.

The Summer Games, held from June 7th to June 9th, involved the participation from over 3,500 athletes who competed across various sports including bocce, unified bocce, soccer, swimming, powerlifting, artistic gymnastics, and rhythmic gymnastics.

Among the standout performances, three Gators athletes achieved first-place medals: Daniel Eichengreen excelled in Bocce Traditional Singles, James Gromoshak demonstrated exceptional strength with a total of 510 points earned in Powerlifting, and Rachel Palmer secured victory in the 25M freestyle with a time of 19.6 seconds.

According to, Lacey Allen, the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association’s Gator Athletics recreation specialist, every participant performed well across all the competitions over the weekend

She expressed her pride in the team’s growth: “All the players have dedicated many hours of practice leading up to the Special Olympics. I am immensely proud of each and every one of them,” Lacey said.

In addition to the sports competitions, the Summer Games included many other activities including the “Olympic Town” where families could attend a foam party, receive glitter temporary tattoos and body art and test their throwing skills at a dunk tank.

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide sports training and competition in a variety of sports for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  The organization was started by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who was passionate about increasing the number of opportunities for children and adults to succeed in athletics.

Since the first games for the Special Olympics at Soldier Field in July 1968, the organization has developed programs across the United States and in 193 countries.

Continuing from their successful performance in the Special Olympics, Gators athletes will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of sporting events run by NSSRA.

For information regarding Gator Athletics and to view the Gator Athletics calendar please visit: https://www.nssra.org/programs/gator-athletics/about-the-gators/