Meet Jamie Staton's Virtual Running Team: Mile 8

Andres Tourgee & Phoenix-Trinity Irish
Name: Andres Tourgee
Age: 18
Hometown: Peterborough
Local Program: Conval High School
Sports: Basketball, Soccer & Tennis

Andres Tourgee is originally from Juarez, Mexico where he had to overcome a lot of challenges in order to stay alive. He was living on the streets, in poverty, and had lived in two orphanages before he was officially adopted by the Tourgee family. Andres was 11 when he first stepped foot into New Hampshire and started his new life outside of Mexico. In the beginning, Andres struggled to adapt in New Hampshire as he could not speak English and had a hard time communicating with his classmates. Andres recalled being, “…sad because he wanted to talk to the other kids, but didn’t know how to.” So he used sports as an outlet and way to make friends in school. His mother explained that, “At first it was the language barrier, but you can just get out on a soccer field and kick a ball and everyone speaks soccer.” Sports were great for Andres as he used them to become more comfortable in the United States.

Andres is going to be representing Team New Hampshire at the 2018 USA Games in Seattle, Washington as a part of the basketball team. When asked about how he felt when he was selected he responded with, “I felt great. I felt really happy and excited that I am going to be able to go to Seattle.” Andres is actually still quite new to Special Olympics. One of his teachers told him about Special Olympics this year and he tried out for Team New Hampshire and he made the cut. In addition to basketball, Andres plays unified soccer at Conval High School, but soccer is his favorite sport to play because it is in his background as he grew up playing it in Mexico.

In his short time with Special Olympics, Andres’ favorite thing about Special Olympics is meeting new people and making new friends. He has thoroughly enjoyed being a part of Team New Hampshire and is looking forward to future Special Olympics events. 
Name: Phoenix-Trinity Irish
Age: 16
Hometown: Goffstown
Local Program: Team Ucanoonuc
Sports: Bowling, Basketball & Athletics

Phoenix-Trinity Irish has been involved with the Special Olympics since the age of eight. She has participated in a ton of different sports inside and outside the Special Olympics, but her favorite sports is athletics. She participates in the 50 meter run, javelin, and long jump. Phoenix is going to be competing at the 2018 USA Games this coming July as a part of the athletics team. When asked what it means to her to be attending the 2018 USA Games she responded with, “It’s very important. We need to show that New Hampshire is important in the Special Olympics.” Phoenix is really looking forward to competing at the USA Games and meeting all of her teammates.

Phoenix believes that if she did not have Special Olympics that she would not be as active as she is today. She enjoys being involved and having fun iand she has made a lot of new friends participating in Special Olympics. Besides competing, Phoenix thrives being on a team and really enjoys cheering on her fellow athletes. She has enjoyed her time competing in the Special Olympics and is looking forward to meeting more friends down the road.