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4 Wyomingites to represent Special Olympics Wyoming at World Games in Berlin

The Special Olympic World Games will take place from June 17 to June 25.


GILLETTE, Wyo. — Four Wyoming delegates are in preparation to represent Special Olympics Wyoming at the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.

The games will be held from June 17 to June 25, according to a press release from Special Olympics Wyoming.

The delegates include:

  • Luke Bappe, Athlete from Riverton competing in Athletics
  • Lewis Fancher, Athlete from Riverton participating in the LETR Final Leg Torch Run
  • Jessica Purdum, Assistant Athletics Coach from Powell
  • Keith Groeneweg, Ret. Wyoming Highway Patrol from Cheyenne, participating in the LETR Final Leg Torch Run

The tradition of the Final Leg Torch Run is for law enforcement officers representing their country, state and Torch Run Program to act as “Guardians of the Flame” and carry the Special Olympics Torch and “Flame of Hope” to the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics World Games, the release states.

The flame lighting ceremony begins in Athens on June 7 and the flame arrival ceremony takes place in Berlin on June 13. The torch runs throughout Germany, from June 14 to June 17, commencing with Opening Ceremony for World Games.

Per the release, this Torch Run event is called the Final Leg because it represents the culmination of Torch Run events that have occurred previously throughout the world. The Torch Run Final Leg is not only a salute to the athletes from around the world who will compete in the Special Olympics World Summer Games, but also an honor for the participating law enforcement officers and Special Olympics athletes who make up the Torch Run Final Leg Team, the release states.

Special Olympics Wyoming athletes, coaches and Unified partners will join representatives from across the country as delegates of Special Olympics USA, which is comprised of 133 athletes and Unified partners, 38 coaches and 23 delegation members who support team operations, the release states. Athletes will compete in 14 sports: athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, golf, gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic), kayaking, powerlifting, sailing, soccer, swimming, tennis and volleyball.

The delegation also includes Special Olympics Unified Sports teams, where people with and without intellectual disabilities compete together as teammates. Special Olympics USA will have representation in eight Unified Sports: basketball, bocce, bowling, golf, sailing, soccer, tennis and volleyball.

To learn more about the Special Olympics USA delegation and Special Olympics Wyoming representatives, visit www.specialolympicsusa.org for a full delegation listing.