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Jamestown Athlete To Take Part In World Special Olympics In 2025

Pictured is the Eddy family, (left to right), Larry Eddy, Donna Eddy, Kyle Eddy, and Mitchell Eddy, at the Dec 18 surprise in Buffalo. Submitted photos

Recently, a Jamestown native athlete was surprised with the news that he would be a part of Team USA in the Special Olympics in Italy in 2025.

On Dec. 18 at the New Era Cap Foundation Headquarters in Buffalo, Kyle Eddy was surprised with the news by Special Olympics New York President and CEO Stacey Hengsterman. Casey Vattimo, Senior Vice President, External Relations for Special Olympics NY, said that Kyle Eddy is a welcome addition to the team.

“Kyle is a hard worker, a master snowshoer and an extraordinary teammate,” Vattimo said. “We are so proud to have him represent New York and Team USA at the 2025 Special Olympics World Games.”

Kyle Eddy will be participating in the snowshoeing competition at the World Games. His mother, Donna Eddy, said sports has always been something he was interested in.

“Kyle has always been interested in sports, and involved in the Special Olympics,” Eddy said. “I work at The Resource Center, so that’s how we got involved in the Special Olympics in New York, by bringing him to different events.”

Kyle Eddy high fives Special Olympics New York President and CEO Stacey Hengsterman after she surprises him with the news that he will be a part of Team USA.

Kyle participates in many different kinds of sports, specifically bocce ball, bowling, snowshoeing, swimming and golf — which Eddy said she thought was his favorite.

Eddy reported that the surprise on Dec. 18 where they received the news went very well, adding that they had gone up to the headquarters to play bocce ball and that Hengsterman knew they would be there, so she chose to surprise them there. She said that it is a great honor for them, but that it will take time for Kyle to get used to the idea.

“Kyle is not one to talk about it now and be excited, but I keep talking to him about it, saying like ‘we’re going to Italy in 2025’, and he is getting excited,” Eddy said. “Knowing all of us will be going as well makes him more comfortable.”

Eddy said the family went with Kyle to the games in Seattle, Washington in 2018.

After the announcement, the Eddys are now waiting for snow to be able to get some practice in. Eddy said they had done a little already when there was snow on the ground, and that Kyle will be practicing with the team when there is more snow. He will also be working with the state team in Syracuse around March, and she thought there would be practicing then in the sand. When a coach is picked for Team USA, then Kyle will practice with that coach as well.

“The whole preparation is very exciting,” Eddy said. “Once we get there we are looking forward to the opening of the games, and we’re pretty excited for the whole experience. Seattle was great so the world games are even more exciting. I think we are looking forward to the camaraderie and just being a part of it.”

Eddy said her main hope for the games is that Kyle goes and has a great time. For them, it is not about winning but about having fun being there and cheering everyone on. She also hopes to be able to sightsee while there.

“Seeing all of the athletes makes me happy and proud,” Eddy said. “All of the athletes are happy to be there and happy to participate even if they don’t win. They’re still cheering each other on. The Special Olympics oath is ‘let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt’. It’s an honor to represent the USA and Kyle is very happy.”

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