BlazeSports Athlete Maya Kahn Begins the Road to Rio

BlazeSports Georgia Athletes Represent Team USA in World Dwarf Games


July 15, 2013            

Contact: Jeff Jones, Director of Sport and Community Programs

(404) 270-2036            

BlazeSports Georgia Athletes Represent Team USA in World Dwarf Games

(Atlanta GA) – A group of young athletes from Georgia will be representing TEAM USA and the Dwarf Athletic Association of America (DAAA) in the 2013 World Dwarf Games August 3-10 in East Lansing, Michigan on the campus of Michigan State University. The World Dwarf Games offers competition in 13 Olympic style individual and team sports. The Georgia athletes competing in the games are Maya Kayn, Victoria Beelner, Sienna Beelner, Ryan Swain and Levi Waterhouse.  These athletes are currently part of the BlazeSports swimming program for children with physical disabilities. 

The World Dwarf Games are a quadrennial multi-sport competition designed for dwarf athletes. With the Dwarf Athletic Association of America as host, these 2013 Games are expected to be the largest sporting event in history exclusively for dwarf athletes. More than 400 dwarf athletes of all ages and abilities from 20 countries will be participating. TEAM USA has 209 athletes competing from all over the United States.

The DAAA hosts annual National Games for dwarf athletes, but the World Dwarf Games provides an international venue for these athletes. According to Maya Kahn, “While we have an opportunity to compete on a national level, there is a special sense of pride competing for your country. You watch the Olympics and dream about one day showing off your athletic abilities and representing the USA. This is my chance to do that.” Maya added, “All of TEAM USA will be able to see how they stack up against our international competitors. The significance of the event makes you step up your game.”

While Maya, Victoria, Sienna, Ryan and Levi are able to compete against children with other physical disabilities as part of the BlazeSports swim team, they have very few opportunities to compete on a level playing field against other short stature individuals.  These international games represent what is likely to be a once in a lifetime experience for many of the athletes.

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About BlazeSports 

BlazeSports America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, that changes the lives of children and adults with physical disabilities worldwide through sport.  Formed in 1993, as the direct legacy of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Paralympic Games, BlazeSports programs and services encourage lifelong health, build leadership skills, foster independence, and promote an inclusive society.  See more at

About DAAA

Founded in 1985, the Dwarf Athletic Association of America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide quality amateur athletic opportunities for persons with dwarfism. Whether novice or elite, the DAAA is committed to providing athletes with dwarfism a showcase to demonstrate their prowess in a variety of sports, the opportunity to experience the thrill of competition, and a chance to meet fellow athletes from across the nation. DAAA expects all participants to embrace and embody high personal values, including courage, determination, good sportsmanship, and equality. For more information on TEAM USA or the Dwarf Athletic Association of America, contact Mike Cekanor, TEAM USA Chef de Mission and DAAA Board Vice President, at 

About WDG

The 2013 World Dwarf Games anticipate more than 400 athletes with dwarfism from 20+ countries to compete in 13 different Olympic style sports including archery, badminton, basketball, boccia, floor hockey, kurling, powerlifting, shooting, soccer, swimming, table tennis, track & field, and volleyball. The world class sport facilities at Michigan State University will be the primary sport venue, and the campus dormitory and food service complex will be transformed into Athlete Village for the event.  For more information about the World Dwarf Games, visit 

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