GALLOWAY, New Jersey, June 2, 2012 – On Saturday at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, Special Olympics announced the appointment of three-time LPGA winner, I.K. Kim, as a Special Olympics Ambassador for Golf. Kim’s role as a Special Olympics Ambassador will be to help grow the game of golf within the Special Olympics movement and promote acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities on and off the golf course.
“As we continue to look for opportunities for our athletes to achieve their personal best, we are thrilled to have I.K. Kim join the Special Olympics family. Her dedication, drive and generous spirit are a lesson to young people around the world and we are thrilled to have her represent our movement” said Timothy Shriver, Chairman and CEO Special Olympics. “I.K. Kim’s involvement in Special Olympics comes at an exciting time for our movement as the next World Games will be held in her home country of South Korea in 2013.”
Kim was announced as a Special Olympics Ambassador during a press conference at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club outside Atlantic City. As part of the press conference, Kim presented Special Olympics with a donation of more than $100,000, which was half of her winnings from the 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Kim vowed after the win to donate her entire first-place check of $225,000 to charity, with half going to the Lorena Ochoa Foundation and the other half to a U.S.-based charity to be named later. The three-time LPGA winner carefully selected Special Olympics as the second recipient of her donation because she wanted to support a cause or organization that’s truly making an impact and she has seen the powerful work of Special Olympics.
“I have been talking to Special Olympics for the past year and this seemed to be a great fit for me,” Kim said. “I was looking for an organization that I truly believed in and could continue to work with on a long-term basis. I didn’t want to just give the money away. I am really looking forward to joining the Special Olympics family as an Ambassador.”
The location of Saturday’s announcement, the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, was fitting since it will be the site of the 2013 Special Olympics North America Golf Invitational Tournament, where Special Olympics athletes will play on the same course as Kim.
Following the announcement and check presentation, Kim hosted a Junior Golf Show for more than 400 young people and conducted a golf clinic for Special Olympics athletes focusing on the short game. In her role as a Sports Ambassador and working side-by-side with Special Olympics athletes, Kim will continue to demonstrate her commitment to inclusion and to help overcome prejudices about intellectual disability.