Summer Games Medal Tallies Are In!


We would like to congratulate our amazing Buncombe County athletes on their hard work and determination during the 2016 Summer Games.  They contributed an amazing amount of hard work in preparation for the games and their results certainly demonstrated their dedication.  Below is a tally of the awards received by Buncombe County Special Olympics athletes. Continue reading

Buncombe County Special Olympics Powerlifting Team to Compete in Cheerokee Iron Boy Powerlifting Event


The Buncombe County Powerlifting Team will be compete on Saturday, June 18, 2016 in the Iron Boy Powerlifting competition.  The team has been practicing for months to polish their skills and will take full advantage of this competition, which will integrate traditional and Special Olympic Powerlifters, to showcase their talents.

A lifters meeting will be on Saturday Morning at 9:30 A.M.  Lifting will begin at approximately 10:30 A.M.

Spectators and support team members are encourage to cheer the team on.  There is a $6.00 spectators fee for all adult non-lifters,  $3.00 for students, and children under 5 are free.
The event will take place at Cherokee Fitness Complex, 37 Cherokee Boys Club Loop, Cherokee, NC 28719.

Understanding Special Olympics

There’s any number of misconceptions out there about Special Olympics and the intellectually disabled population it serves. Overall, the program continues to build support and opportunities for its athletes and acceptance within their communities. Matthew Williams explains the importance of the program with an eloquence that few can muster.

Now Recruiting Coffee Shops for “Coffee for Champions”


Buncombe County Special Olympics is a volunteer-driven, donation-funded program designed to create sporting opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. We focus on inclusionary programming that builds connections between our athletes and the community. We don’t have staff members and we don’t pay for office space, the money donated to the program goes straight to creating opportunities for the athletes.

All this being said, fundraising is difficult for us. We often have to ask the same volunteers who coach and transport athletes to turn around and devote even more time to the program to help us run fundraisers. We want to focus more time on our athletes and less on the hustle, so we’re trying to get creative.

We’re asking Asheville coffee shops to help us by donating a penny from each cup of coffee they sell during the month of August.

We want to create a fundraiser that generates the largest amount of community support possible. While money will always help us alleviate our fundraising needs, this concept is more about increasing awareness of our local Special Olympics program. Buncombe County Special Olympics needs community support in order for us to thrive and support our athletes. We view each cup sold as a new connection.

Just like any sports team, we want the support of our hometown.

Our goal is to get as many Asheville coffee shops invested as possible. We’ll be listing participating locations with a map on our website. We’re hoping to generate a new community support and to show the power of collective advocacy. We’ll also work to create business linkages and customer drive to participating businesses through social media.

Enroll your business by calling 828.250.4265 or e-mailing

Athletes Prepare for Summer Games 2016

matt and sue

Matt Paoletti and Sue Eversman representing Buncombe County at the 2015 Special Olympics NC Fall Games.

In the days following Spring Games, Buncombe County Special Olympics has been charging hard to prepare for the Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games in High Point, North Carolina from June 3-5, 2016.

Susan Paoletti, one of the pillars of our program has graciously agreed to serve as Head of Delegation and has spent countless hours coordinating with Buncombe County Recreation Services staff to make sure all of our paperwork is in order and that our athletes have the resources needed to compete at their maximum potential.  Susan will be accompanied by a team of extremely dedicated volunteer coaches and chaperones.

Buncombe County is sending a total of 55 delegates to this year’s Summer Games, 40 of whom are athletes in our program (the other 15 are the coaches and volunteers supporting the athletes).  These 40 athletes represent the dedication that all of our year-round program participants put into their sports and the commitment they have to serving as ambassadors for our program.

Buncombe County delegates will showcase their talents in cheerleading, gymnastics, aquatics, bowling, and athletics (track and field).  Our delegates will participate in a weekend’s worth of competitions, arriving on Friday and working their way through competitive brackets throughout the weekend.  Summer Games schedule is compressed and requires a tremendous amount of focus and resolve on the part of both our athletes and volunteers.  Given tight budgets and logistics constraints, many athletes will be traveling without their families and caretakers relying on their Buncombe County Special Olympics family for support.


Athletes grab a bite to eat and plan the next day’s events at the 2015 Special Olympics NC Fall Games.

Summer Games is of course not all work.  Athletes and volunteers will have the opportunity to socialize with others in programs throughout the state and to revisit friendships that have been kindled through years of state and regional events.  Athletes will attend the Opening Ceremonies on Friday evening showing their pride in our program.  Throughout the weekend, our volunteers will shuttle athletes to a variety of competitions scattered among venues across High Point, Raleigh, and Cary.  On Saturday night delegates will have the opportunity to put on their best dance wear and join in the festivities at the Olympic Village and Dance.  As always, our program (and the efforts of the Special Olympics North Carolina) focus on providing a once in a lifetime experience that rewards the work that it takes to be selected for Summer Games.

If there is an unfortunate side to our program, it’s the need to always focus on fundraising.  We are extremely lucky to have a wide base of community support and to be able to offer all of our programs at opportunities at no charge to our athletes.  Unlike conventional sports and athletic programming, we don’t charge registration fees and we provide our athletes all the equipment and training they need at no cost.  This places demands on our program to constantly have an eye toward fundraising and costs.  We focus on driving our costs down to the absolute minimum.  This often means that our already generous volunteers are donating use of their vehicles and personal resources to make events happen.  You can see the breakdown below of what our expected costs are for Summer Games.  Clearly, few programs can match our per athlete cost in sending athletes across the state for a weekend competition.CostBreakdown.PNGWe always need support.  Whether it’s through monetary donation or through volunteer hours.  We currently have a campaign underway to offset our cost of Summer Games so that we can continue to have funding available that allows us to expand our program and offer more opportunities to the community we serve.  We have raised $292 of the estimated $4,000 we need to offset this year’s Summer Games cost, so if you can support our athletes, please consider a donation today.  Any amount will help our program focus on athletes rather than fundraising.  If you have an idea for another way to contribute (such as snacks for Summer Games), please shoot us an e-mail ( or call us at 828.250.4265.