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Big Island Athlete Wins 3 Medals on Day 2 of Special Olympics 2022 USA Games

June 8, 2022, 12:00 PM HST
* Updated June 8, 11:09 AM
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Shawn Lehano of the Big Island participates on Day 2 of the Special Olympics 2022 USA Games. (Photos courtesy of Special Olympics Hawai‘i)

As of Tuesday, June 7, the Special Olympics Hawai‘i team, or Hui O Hawai‘i, had earned seven medals, including three won by a Big Island athlete, at the Special Olympics 2022 USA Games.

Shawn Lehano shows off his medals.

Shawn Lehano claimed a silver medal in deadlift, a bronze in bench press and a bronze in combo 2 in powerlifting on the second day of the national competition. The team of 16 Special Olympics Hawai‘i athletes and five Unified Partners from throughout the state earned a total of one gold, three silver and three bronze medals Tuesday.

The team’s one gold medal thus far was won by Ho‘opi‘ookalani “Ho‘opi‘o” Balaz from O‘ahu in bocce singles.

The national competition celebrates the Special Olympics movement while promoting the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport and highlighting the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities.

The 16 Hui O Hawai‘i athletes on hail from O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, Maui and the Big Island and were selected from among 3,400 participants statewide to compete in the eight-day national competition. They join more than 3,500 Special Olympics athletes from throughout the nation competing in bocce, bowling, powerlifting and swimming, as well as participating in youth leadership programs.

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The 2022 USA Games run until June 12.

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