The Special Olympics World Games take place every two years and alternate between Summer Games and Winter Games, similar to the Olympics. The Special Olympics World Summer Games will take place this June 17-26 in Berlin, Germany.
Special Olympics Northern California is proud to send two athletes, plus one volunteer and a Torch Runner, to represent the USA!
Annastasia Maloney of Grass Valley, California, has competed with Special Olympics for five years. In that time, she has participated in athletics, basketball, flag football, soccer and softball. She will represent Special Olympics USA in athletics. In 2022, Annastasia competed in athletics at the Special Olympics USA Games. Through Special Olympics, Annastasia has met many new friends and has learned the importance of athlete leadership. For the past two years, she has served as a Global Messenger, promoting the Special Olympics movement in her community. At the age of 9, Annastasia was adopted and continues to be supported daily by her adoptive family.
Following her high school graduation, she lives on her own and enjoys cooking, working, dirt biking and spending time with her friends. Annastasia is employed by Tess’ Kitchen Store as a sales associate and attends Sierra College. She works out with a personal trainer and is running with her brother, preparing to represent her country in the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.
Jessica “Jessy” Lane of Chico, California, has participated in Special Olympics since 2004 and has competed in athletics, bocce, bowling and golf. For Jessy, attending the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 is a dream come true. She will represent Special Olympics USA in golf. In 2022, Jessy competed in golf at the Special Olympics USA Games. Being involved with Special Olympics has provided Jessy an avenue to stay physically fit and practice her social skills. In addition to training with Special Olympics, Jessy attends workout classes at Orangetheory Fitness and has lost 100 pounds in doing so.
For the past 16 years, Jessy has worked at Little Red Hen’s Floral Store, employed as a senior staff assistant and lead floral designer. After graduating from high school, she earned her certificate in floral design at Butte College in 2007. To promote her skills, she volunteers to work at bridal, home and garden shows. Her greatest friend and supporter is her mother, Margaret, who has advocated for her involvement in Special Olympics. As an athlete, Jessy has learned to be more confident in meeting others and expressing herself. To Jessy, representing Special Olympics Northern California is an opportunity to show others how practice can lead to success.
Lia Feriancek of Chico, California, has volunteered for the past eight years with Special Olympics Northern California and Minnesota. She will represent Special Olympics USA as a caddie in golf. Lia’s uncle was an active Special Olympics athlete and competed in the Special Olympics World Games Baton Rouge 1983. Her mother serves as director of a golf program and has been involved with Special Olympics in her community for more than 40 years. Above all, Lia admires the enthusiasm and positive attitudes of Special Olympics athletes. In 2022, Lia competed as a Unified partner at the Special Olympics USA Games in golf. She looks forward to supporting Special Olympics Northern California athlete Jessy Lane as she competes for gold.
Lia earned a bachelor's degree in design communication from the University of Minnesota. She is employed at Klean Kanteen, working to provide stainless steel water bottles to reduce plastic waste. She enjoys cooking, surfing, snowboarding and kitesurfing.
Berlin is a special place to Lia, as she lived there for nearly three years. She is proud of all Special Olympics athletes, who train and study in all aspects of the sports that they love.
Jodi Williams is a Lieutenant with San Jose Police Department and will take part in the Final Leg Torch Run at the World Games, helping to carry the Flame of Hope from Greece and throughout Germany to the Opening Ceremony. She has been in Law Enforcement for over 23 years. She began to get involved in the Law Enforcement Torch Run about 17 years ago when she began to help conduct Tip-A-Cop fundraisers with her department. She was invited to attend her first Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics International Conference in 2005 where she became inspired to continue her fundraising and volunteerism with Special Olympics Northern California.
Jodi has attended various Special Olympics NorCal competitions to hand out medals, has organized and ran the Torch Run for her department, and participated in numerous fundraising events from Plane Pulls and Police in Pursuit, to Bocce Bash, Tip a Cops, and Polar Plunges. In 2019, she began coaching for Special Olympics and now volunteers at softball, flag football, basketball, track & field, and floor hockey.