Meet Jamie Staton's Virtual Running Team: Mile 24

Randy Belanger & Zoya Tavallai
Name: Randy Belanger
Age: 16
Hometown: Berlin
Local Program: Androscoggin River Athletes
Sports: Basketball, Golf & Snowshoeing

Randy Belanger’s favorite thing about Special Olympics is that he is able to meet new people and make friends. Randy enjoys participating in snowshoeing and golf, but he has always loved basketball because he, “grew up around it and it has always been a part of his life.”

Randy will also be representing Team New Hampshire, on the basketball team, at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington. He is very excited for the opportunity and to be able to play alongside his brother, Roger, at the USA Games. He said that, “it is a dream come true.”
Name: Zoya Tavallai
Age: 26
Hometown: Merrimack
Local Program: Merrimack Tigers
Sports: Athletics & Bowling

Zoya Tavallai was just eight years old when she got started with the Special Olympics. She remembers being at Reeds Ferry Elementary School when her Special Education teacher, now retired, Karen Bennett suggest she should join the Reeds Ferry Tiggers. Zoya said that, “Karen Bennett has changed my life and has changed so many of my teammate’s lives.” Special Olympics continues to be a huge part of Zoya’s life and when asked why she continues to participate her answer was simple. She loves everything about it. She mentioned that, “It is fun. It is a great experience and I love all of my teammates, athletes, coaches, law enforcement. I just love everybody there.” Zoya loves to compete and to have fun. In the future, Zoya would love to participate at a USA Games because she believes that it would be wonderful and fantastic to represent New Hampshire at the national level.