Bound for the World Games

KAPAA — Kapaa resident Chaunci Cummings is excited to be going to the Special Olympics 2015 World Games.

“It’s been good and it’s been fun,” Cummings said of participating in the Special Olympics on Kauai.

Cummings will be one of three athletes to represent the state of Hawaii in the Special Olympics 2015 World Games as a member of Special Olympics USA.

Honolulu resident Ikaika Morita-Sunada of Kaneohe will represent the islands as a member of the aquatics team, and athlete Isaiah Wong of Kailua-Kona will be a member of the Special Olympics USA power lifting team.

Cummings will compete in the athletics division in track and field, competing in the 100-meter dash, the 4×100 meter relay and the shot put throw.

“It’s exciting,” said Cummings, who added that the best part of the Special Olympics is being with her friends, is looking forward to participating with her fellow athletes at the World Games.

Cummings, who was born with meconium aspiration and suffered cardiac arrest and stroke shortly after birth that left her handicapped, has never let her disabilities rule her life.

She has fought back by joining the Special Olympics, where she found friends who liked her for who she was, with no expectations or judgments.

“It’s been fun and it’s been easy and I’ve been doing it with my friends at track and field,” she said. “We’ve been running a lot and training.”

Cummings has participated in Special Olympics for three years, and enjoys many other pastimes as well, including swimming, creating art projects and cooking with her family.

Her parents are very proud of their daughter’s accomplishments, and are looking forward to watching her at the World Games in California.

“Words cannot describe how I feel because we never knew that she would be able to participate in anything like this until she came to high school in the ninth grade,” said her father, Benjamin Cummings Jr. “Words cannot say what we feel for her. It’s a very good feeling. It’s amazing.”

“We’re really excited about her going,” said Dawn Cummings her mother. “It’s been a journey because we started training from last July for this event.”

Cummings and the other Hawaii representatives will join athletes from 170 nations, competing in 17 sports.

The Special Olympics USA will feature 304 athletes and 43 Unified Partners participating in a variety of sports, and 102 volunteer coaches and 42 volunteer sports and management team members.

The World Games will take place July 25 through Aug. 2 in Los Angeles.

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Averie Soto, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or asoto@thegardenisland.com.

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