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Charlie Phillips selected to compete for Special Olympics USA

Charlie Phillips At USA Games In 2018 Copy

Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) is very excited to announce longtime athlete Charlie Phillips has been officially selected to represent Special Olympics Missouri and Special Olympics USA at the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, June 17-25.

Phillips, a Savannah, Mo. resident, learned about this amazing honor during an interview with KQ2 Sports Director Chris Roush.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a new culture and to honor our country in powerlifting, the sport I love,” Phillips said.

You can watch the full interview with Chris Roush below.

Before he was officially selected to compete for Special Olympics USA, Phillips had to prove himself at the Special Olympics USA Team Trials in San Antonio, Texas last November. He finished the weekend with the top squat – 182.5 kg – and the top deadlift – 227.5 kg – among all the Special Olympics USA powerlifters. He also benched 130 kg.

Charlie Phillips lifts weights at the Special Olympics USA Team Trials in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2022.

“It was a lot of fun,” Phillips said. “I got to meet a lot of athletes from different states.”

Phillips was the only SOMO athlete to be nominated for the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023. He learned about his initial nomination to compete for a chance to represent Special Olympics USA at the Missouri Western State University football game last September. You can watch the emotional public surprise announcement here.

Charlie Phillips shows off his letter announcing his nomination to the 2023 Special Olympics World Games at Spratt Stadium in St. Joseph, Mo. on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022

Charlie is just 26 years old, but he’s already accomplished so much in his Special Olympics career. Charlie grew up in central Pennsylvania. He got his start with Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) 15 years ago. In 2010, Charlie participated in his first-ever Special Olympics USA Games as a part of SOPA’s track team. Charlie’s family ended up moving to Missouri, and he never skipped a beat. In 2018, Charlie was back at the USA Games as a powerlifter for SOMO. During his career, Charlie has participated in five different sports: basketball, track, soccer, flag football and powerlifting.

Special Olympics USA is comprised of 133 athletes and Unified partners, 38 coaches and 23 delegation members who support team operations. Athletes will compete in 14 of the 26 sports offered: athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, golf, gymnastics – artistic, gymnastics—rhythmic, kayaking, powerlifting, sailing, soccer, swimming, tennis and volleyball.

The delegation also includes Special Olympics Unified Sports® teams, where people with and without intellectual disabilities compete together, as teammates. Special Olympics USA will have representation in the following Unified Sports®: basketball, bocce, bowling, golf, sailing, soccer, tennis and volleyball.

To learn more about the Special Olympics USA delegation, please visit for a full delegation listing, photos and bios.

Special Olympics USA is the national delegation that represents the United States at the Special Olympics World Games and Special Olympics World Winter Games. Delegation members compete in an array of the 30-plus official Special Olympics sports, in individual and team formats. 

Every two years, the world transcends the boundaries of geography, nationality, political philosophy, gender, age, culture and religion to come together for the Special Olympics World Games. Alternating between summer and winter Games, this event is the flagship event of the Special Olympics movement, which promotes inclusion, equality and acceptance around the world.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these athletes and Unified partners to demonstrate their athletic abilities, competing at the highest level on the world stage, and to have life and cultural experiences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” said Craig Pippert, Head of Delegation for Special Olympics USA. “I encourage every American to cheer for USA, share in the triumphs of our delegation and to take pride in knowing that the athletes, Unified partners and coaches will represent our country with excellence and honor.”

The Games will be the world’s largest sports and humanitarian event taking place in 2023, and the biggest multi-sport event in Berlin in decades. The Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 will feature more than 7,000 Special Olympics athletes from over 190 countries who will compete in 26 Olympic-type summer sports: athletics, badminton, basketball, basketball 3×3, beach volleyball, bocce, bowling, cycling, equestrian, field hockey, football, futsal, golf, gymnastics – artistic, gymnastics—rhythmic, handball, judo, kayaking, open water swimming, powerlifting, roller skating, sailing, swimming, table tennis, tennis and volleyball.

ESPN’s global television networks and digital media will bring extensive coverage to sports fans and supporters of the Special Olympics movement around the world. As the official broadcast partner of Special Olympics, ESPN’s television coverage will be carried across its networks in the United States as well as streamed through WatchESPN and the ESPN App.

Bank of America is the Premier Sponsor of Special Olympics USA. Champion is the Official Supplier and Supporter of Special Olympics USA. MTM is Recognition Partner of Special Olympics USA.

To follow Special Olympics USA, visit, and follow on Facebook:,Twitter: @specialolyUSA and Instagram: @specialolympicsusa. Hashtag: #Cheer4USA

For more information about Charlie Phillips, please contact For more information about the Special Olympics USA delegation or the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, please contact Rachel McQuiston, Sr. Manager of Marketing and Communications, Special Olympics North America, at

Special Olympics Missouri

Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) is a year-round program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Thousands of athletes participate in 16 Olympic-type sports throughout the state. SOMO provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with their fellow athletes, their family and friends, and communities across Missouri.

SOMO is proud of our financial health, returning 78% of every dollar back to program services. We are privileged to be recognized with these honors: Better Business Bureau A+ Charity Accreditation, Guidestar Gold Level and Charity Navigator 4-star rating. Special Olympics was also recently named Morning Consult’s No. 4 most trusted nonprofit.

Thank you for trusting us with your donations, volunteer time and your goodwill.

Visit Special Olympics Missouri at Engage with us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.