Is China Ready for Hamilton County?

By: Ben Wolf
By: Ben Wolf

Mike Cohen's Hamilton Stompers basketball team are headed to Shanghai, China to play in the 2007 Special Olympics World Games.

"These kids believe in teamwork. All right, they believe in "together we can do it." It's not about I or me, it's about the team," he said.

The Stompers will play in division one at the games designed for athletes with the least severe disabilities. They'll play with official rules no different than those in international competition at the world championships.

Cohen says that by looking at them you'll say, “Hey, there is nothing wrong with them. Some of them have reading disabilities, some of them for instance might have trouble understanding things that you can say if you give them something to say if you read something to them, but if you show them, take them by the hand and walk them through it, hey, they catch on like that."

When the squad found out about the selection, enthusiasm was bouncing off the gym walls.

"This is my first going to be going to China. I'm ready though. I'm ready and we are going to win. Guaranteed victory, " said player Alan Pierce.

"We're going to kick butt. You know what I'm saying? We're ready to go have fun," said player Travis Jackson.

The Stompers have a little more than a year to prepare. The games start October 2, 2007. More than 7,000 athletes from 169 different countries will compete in 24 sports at the World Games.


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