Spectrum360 students and adults brought their talents and enthusiasm to the New Jersey Special Olympics Summer Games held at the College of New Jersey in Ewing in early June.

Angelina P, a recent graduate of Academy360 Upper School, not only delivered a powerful performance of the national anthem in the opening ceremonies but also made a big splash in the pool, winning a gold medal in the 100 Meter Butterfly and a silver in the 100 IM.

Angelina swims for the Bergen Penguins alongside teammate Christopher M. Together, they brought home a silver and bronze medal in the team relays.

Christopher, a current Academy360 Upper School student, also had a strong showing, winning two bronze medals in the 50M Back and Freestyle races.

“It’s not just about winning,” Angelina shared. “It’s important for people with special needs to be involved in sports. It not only helps them develop skills, they can also make lifelong friendships.”

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Angelina’s sentiment echoed throughout the Spectrum360 contingent. Kaylynn, another Academy360 graduate who is known for her beautiful piano playing, and Danny B, a student with a passion for dance, brought joy to the opening ceremonies as part of the Shining Stars Network troupe.

Justin B, a participant in the Independence360 program, took home a gold medal in the Unified Doubles competition and a silver medal in the singles — now proudly showcased on his wall at home. Justin’s love for the sport is evident in his shy smile as he speaks about his practice sessions every Friday and Saturday.

For Zachary, a swimmer with the Caldwell Cannons, the games were a chance to reconnect with the competitive spirit after his previous team disbanded during the COVID-19 pandemic. “This experience was incredible for him,” shared Zachary’s mom, Kristy. “To be surrounded by such talent, heart , courage, love and support is beyond what I can explain.”

The Spectrum360 participants showcased not only their athletic prowess but also the spirit of inclusion and camaraderie that defines the Special Olympics. Their dedication and enthusiasm are a shining example of the transformative power of sports.



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