Local resident represents U.S. at 2019 Special Olympic World Games

Lexington Park, MD - For the first time in its history, the Special Olympics World Games will be held in the Middle East in 2019. Abu Dhabi is this year’s host city, and St. Mary’s County will be sending one of their own to represent the United States in the UAE.

Kegan Zimmerman is a Special Olympian who has competed for 11 years in 16 different sports. Among his favorites are bowling, basketball, kayaking, and, the sport he will be competing in at the World Games,cycling. His absolute favorite sports is golf, a sport he gets to compete in with his dad.

Kegan qualified for the Games after receiving a gold medal in cycling at the 2017 Special Olympics Maryland Fall Sports Festival. Having competed in the U.S. Special Olympic games twice, the 2010 Lincoln, Nebraska Games for bowling and 2014 Princeton, New Jersey Games for flag football, Kegan is excited to leave the country for this new experience.

One of Kegan’s biggest inspirations is the late founder of Special Olympics Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Shriver started with “Camp Shriver” in her backyard in Maryland that has since grown worldwide in its more than 50-year history. The first Special Olympic Summer Games were held in Chicago. The woman whose actions made it possible for athletes like Kegan to compete uttered these words at Soldier Field during the first games’ opening ceremony, “Let me win, but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt.” Those words inspire many athletes to this day as the oath for the Special Olympics.

There are four athletes, including Kegan, slated to represent Maryland in the 2019 Abu Dhabi games. They are currently raising funds for hotels, travel, and other expenses associated with competing. As of the writing of this article, Kegan is just under a quarter of the way towards his $5,000 goal. During an interview with, Kegan challenged Sheriff Tim Cameron to accompany him at the 2019 MSP Polar Bear Plunge Saturday, Jan. 26. The event helps the “7,782 Special Olympics athletes who train and compete year-round throughout Maryland.”

The 15th World Summer Games will feature more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries and be broadcast through ESPN. For more information visit the Abu Dhabi 2019 World Games website.

Click here to support Kegan.

Click here to see all of the Maryland athletes.

Contact Jerold Massie at

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