Two VERY Special Olympians!
Two young Vermonters with some close ties to Lincoln Street Inc. were honored this past June when they were both invited to represent Special Olympics Vermont and New Hampshire at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Florida.
Jennifer Mayfield, 29, of Hartland, Vermont, and Brett Clough, 24, of Quechee, joined an entourage of fellow athletes, friends and family as they traveled to Orlando June 2-12 to compete in the Special Olympics. Jenny, a golfer, was competing with the Vermont delegation of the Special Olympics team. Brett, who is a powerlifter, competed in the weightlifting event under the auspices of the Upper Valley Hawks, a Special Olympics sports organization based in Hanover, New Hampshire.
On the Links
Jenny’s dad, Brett Mayfield served as his daughter’s caddy during her three days of competition. Each day of golf, Jenny had an entourage of eight family members and friends following her from hole to hole. “We were like the paparazzi for Jenny!” her mother, Liz Barker, quipped.
Of course, Florida in June isn’t exactly the most inviting climate. “The schedule was very hard,” Jenny said. “We played four days of golf, with nine holes each day. That’s about three hours of golf, and it was so hot!”
Jenny’s scoring during the competition wasn’t her personal best, but she and her mother agree that the whole experience made the trip worthwhile. “Of the four days, two of Jenny’s scores were 69s and, for the other two, 75s,” Liz explained. “It wasn’t her best golf, but over the course of the event we met some great people—a lot of other families—and made some lasting friends.”
One major surprise for Jenny prior to the competition was a video message from Annika Sörenstam, who is among the best LPGA Tour Golfers in history. Sörenstam’s message for Jenny said: “As a professional golfer, I admire all of the hard work you put in on and off the course. Good luck next year, I know you will make us proud.”
Jenny said that one of the most memorable—and unique—experiences during the event was when a four-foot-long alligator planted itself nearby her ball during her play. “A spotter on the course shooed the alligator away before he could cause any trouble,” her mother, Liz, noted.
Nationals are every four years, but Jenny is determined to practice and get her score down so that she’ll be invited back to participate yet again.
Jenny has been a longtime services recipient from Lincoln Street Inc., where she’s found an enthusiastic group of fans who cheer her on. “I just love Lincoln St.,” Liz said. “Jenny has a big fan club among some of the Lincoln Street staff, and they’ve been very supportive.”
Hitting the Weights
Brett Clough, who has been weightlifting for the past 10 years, competed in the Special Olympics Superheavyweight division, where he took a silver medal in all four categories of weightlifting that he competed in, including deadlift, squat, bench and all-around.
One very special moment for Brett at the Olympics event was when he was invited to play the the “Star-Spangled Banner” to kick off the entire Olympics event during the opening ceremonies. Brett, a seasoned guitarist, wowed the attendees with his performance. “He [Brett] was on cloud nine about it,” his dad, Sam Clough, said. “He really loves his guitar; in fact, if he had to pick one or the other—guitar or weightlifting—I think he’d go for the guitar!”
Following his stellar Olympics performance, Brett is taking a few months off, with plans to resume weightlifting at the end of August. “He has hopes of making the Special Olympics National Team and traveling to Berlin, Germany, to compete next summer,” his dad, Sam, said.
Like Jenny Mayfield, Brett has enjoyed a long relationship with Lincoln Street Inc. “They helped him get his job, transport him back and forth to work unloading tractor trailers, and offer him other helpful services,” his father, Sam, said.
The entire support team at Lincoln Street Inc. congratulates Jenny and Brett, and wishes them all the luck in the world as they continue to pursue their passion for sports.