NorthPointe Resources program participant Lauren Massong took home a gold and bronze medal from July’s 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington. Qualifying in four separate events, Lauren took home gold in the 200 meter dash, bronze in the mini javelin throw, as well as a 4th place ribbon in the 100 meter.
Competing in Special Olympics since she was eight-years-old, Lauren has participated in track and field, bocce ball, basketball, golf, swimming, bowling and volleyball. As a result of always being in season with a sport, she trains virtually year-round.
Lauren was nominated to represent “Team Illinois” after earning gold medals in four events at both the regional and state level competitions, as well as completing a separate selection process that included a coach’s recommendation and questionnaire. While Lauren has qualified for the state games on numerous occasions, this was her first time competing at nationals.
“We were thrilled when she was selected,” said Lauren’s mother Lona, “we made the trip to Seattle our family vacation this year.”
Outside of competition Lauren had a wonderful week in Seattle with her Illinois teammates, attending a Seattle Mariners game, a dance for the athlete’s, as well as enjoying a Fourth of July BBQ.
“I trained really hard for the games this year,” said Lauren, “to make it to nationals and then win medals was so amazing. It was one of the best weeks of my life.”
Following the games in Seattle, Lauren and Team Illinois were honored at Soldier Field in Chicago as part of the “Global Day of Inclusion” celebrating Special Olympics 50 year anniversary.
Established in 1953, NorthPointe Resources is a premier provider of a full range of award-winning programs for people with disabilities and/or mental illness living in northern Illinois, supporting approximately 500 people annually. To learn more please visit www.northpointeresources.org.