Wakefield athlete crowned queen of Michigan Special Olympics

MT. PLEASANT – Thursday, May 30 was a day for celebration and smiles during Closing Ceremonies for the 2014 Special Olympics Michigan Summer Games. Included in the celebration was the annual crowning of the King and Queen. Craig Graus of Whitecloud was crowned as King of the State Summer Games with Brittany Sordahl of Wakefield winning the honor of Queen.

As Graus and Sordahl’s names were called, cheers and applause resonated through the crowd of nearly 5,000 athletes, volunteers and coaches that gathered at the Kelly/Shorts Stadium on the Campus of Central Michigan University.

Craig Graus is an athlete from Area 21 (Oceana, Muskegon and Newaygo Counties) and has been battling cancer. He has been involved with Special Olympics for 45 years and he enjoys competing in bocce ball.

“This is the one thing that has been keeping him going,” Rosemary VanderVegte his area director said. “He is a super athlete and a perfect example of the oath.”

Brittany Sordahl is from Area 39 (Ontanagon and Gogebic Counties) and has been a part of Special Olympics for 20 years, beginning when she was eight years old.

“She puts her all in everything she does,” said Barb Siira her area director said.

Each of the 37 areas in the state nominated a male and female athlete for the State Summer Games Court and eight princes and princess were chosen randomly among the nominees. The King and Queen were drawn from a ballot box and announced on stage during Closing Ceremonies.

About Special Olympics Michigan

Special Olympics Michigan Inc. (SOMI) provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for 20,752 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Athletes build physical fitness, develop self-confidence and prepare for participation in society.

SOMI is a non-profit organization supported almost entirely by corporate and individual gifts, and events, without support of state funds. The generosity of Michigan organizations, individuals and statewide businesses enable the program to continue.