The Big 12 Conference has announced the 2010-11 Special Olympians of the Year. This year’s winners are Mike Warren and Beth Brokamp.
Each season, two athletes are selected among the seven states in the Big 12 footprint for their outstanding participation in and advocation of Special Olympics. Warren and Brokamp will travel to Arlington, Texas for the 2010 Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championship at Cowboys Stadium to receive commemorative rings in an on-field presentation during the championship contest.
Warren has participated in Special Olympics Iowa for 15 years. He specializes in track & field, specifically distance running events. He has competed in the 400-meter, 800-meter and 1500-meter in his state games since 1995, capturing the gold every year. Warren also won bronze and silver medals at the 2006 National Games in Ames. The Marshalltown, Iowa-native was one of 10 Special Olympics athletes from across the U.S. selected to run in the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg for the 2010 National Games in Lincoln, Nebraska. He also takes part in many local 5K and 10K runs during the summer months, regularly placing in his age group.
In addition to his local participation, Warren has competed on an international stage, traveling to Ireland for the World Games in 2003. He is also scheduled to compete in the 2011 World Games in Greece. The Iowa native has a job with a local organization, and loves spending time with his family and traveling.
Brokamp has participated in Special Olympics Missouri for 24 years. She takes part in track & field, softball, basketball, bowling and golf. She captured gold and bronze medals at the 1999 World Games and also earned a gold medal at the 2006 National Games.
A native of Columbia, Mo., she serves as a Special Olympics Global Messenger. In that role, she was chosen to represent Missouri in speaking with Senators and Representatives in Washington, D.C. on behalf of Special Olympics. Her Special Olympics participation has also helped Brokamp hold a job and be a contributing member of her community and family, while providing her opportunities for personal growth and independence that she is able to use every day.