(SAVANNAH, Mo.) Special Olympics Missouri athlete and Savannah, Mo. native Charlie Phillips has been selected to represent Special Olympics Missouri and Special Olympics USA at the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.
“I want to thank all the people who helped me get here,” Phillips said.
Before he was officially selected to compete for Special Olympics USA, Phillips had to prove himself at the Special Olympics USA Team Trials in San Antonio, Texas last November. He finished the weekend with the top squat – 182.5 kg – and the top deadlift – 227.5 kg – among all the Special Olympics USA powerlifters. He also benched 130 kg.
“It was a lot of fun,” Phillips said. “I got to meet a lot of athletes from different states.”
Phillips was the only SOMO athlete to be nominated for the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023. He learned about his initial nomination to compete for a chance to represent Special Olympics USA at the Missouri Western State University football game last September.
Charlie is just 26 years old, but he’s already accomplished so much in his Special Olympics career. Charlie grew up in central Pennsylvania. He got his start with Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) 15 years ago. In 2010, Charlie participated in his first-ever Special Olympics USA Games as a part of SOPA’s track team. Charlie’s family ended up moving to Missouri, and he never skipped a beat. In 2018, Charlie was back at the USA Games as a powerlifter for SOMO. During his career, Charlie has participated in five different sports: basketball, track, soccer, flag football and powerlifting.
Special Olympics USA is comprised of 133 athletes and Unified partners, 38 coaches and 23 delegation members who support team operations. Athletes will compete in 14 of the 26 sports offered: athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, golf, gymnastics – artistic, gymnastics—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 the following Unified Sports®: basketball, bocce, bowling, golf, sailing, soccer, tennis and volleyball.