Northport resident Sean O’Rourke, a Special Olympics New York athlete since he was just 13, has been selected to compete in the 2023 Special Olympics World Games to be held in Berlin, Germany in June.
O’Rourke, who works as prep cook at Bristal Assisted Living, is a veteran competitor. He has completed a few Ironman events and finished marathons in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and the Marine Corps Marathon.
In 2003, O’Rourke competed in the Special Olympics World Games in Ireland. He has also competed in the 2014 and 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.
At his first State Fall Games, O’Rourke got a flat tire with one mile left in his cycling race. But he picked up the bike, put it over his shoulder and ran the last mile carrying it.
O’Rourke trains with the Rolling Thunder Special Needs Program, one of the first inclusive running clubs in the United States for all athletes. Through his training, he met his wife, Pavla, who has supported him as his coach. Spending most of his time training or with his family, O’Rourke is already training his son, Sean, for a future career in athletics.
O’Rourke is one of 19 Special Olympics New York athletes, partners and coaches who have been named to Special Olympics USA, the national team that will compete at World Games in Berlin from June 17 through June 25. Special Olympics World Games are held every two years, alternating between summer and winter sports.