Meet Jamie Staton's Virtual Running Team: Mile 10

Derek Baer & Adam Pelkey
Name: Derek Baer
Age: 17
Hometown: Portsmouth
Local Program: Team Portsmouth
Sports: Basketball & Soccer

When Derek Baer was just two years old he had his first open heart surgery. When he was three, he had a second heart surgery. These experiences changed Derek’s life and helped mold him into the person he is today. His mother teared up just thinking about the experiences and went on to say that, “we are so proud of him.” Derek plays soccer and basketball, but basketball is by far his favorite sport to play. It all got started when Bryan Rogers told him to start playing Special Olympics. Derek’s mom calls Bryan, “Derek’s angel” and says that “She is so grateful for that man.” Derek is now an integral part of the Portsmouth High School Unified basketball team and has gotten better every year.

Special Olympics has helped Derek a lot over the years. Derek believes that Special Olympics has made him more active and helped him make a lot of friends. Derek is really proud that he has been able to overcome his past challenges and push himself outside his comfort zone to get better in the sports he loves.

Derek was selected to represent Team New Hampshire in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington as a part of the basketball team. He was very excited that he was selected to be a part of the team and he is really looking forward to competing against people from across the country. 
Name: Adam Pelkey
Age: 26
Hometown: Berlin
Local Program: Androscoggin River Athletes
Sports: Basketball, Powerlifting & Athletics

Adam Pelkey has been involved with Special Olympics for around 20 years and he cannot even remember a time that it was not a part of his life. To Adam, Special Olympics has created many opportunities for him to meet new people and see new faces. He also really enjoys the traveling aspect of Special Olympics. He has enjoyed traveling all over New Hampshire for Special Olympics events and even got to travel to New Jersey in 2014 for the Special Olympics USA Summer Games.

In 2014, Adam played on the gold medal winning basketball team that competed against teams from all across the country at the Games in New Jersey. He said that, “winning the gold medal in basketball in 2014 is my greatest achievement.” In addition, Adam will be participating at the 2018 USA Games in Seattle, Washington, but this time as a part of the powerlifting team. Adam is very excited that he has been given another opportunity to compete on a national stage. He believes that this is, “another opportunity for me to prove to myself that I can achieve anything if I put my mind to it.”