Waukesha's Kevin Cekanor has been competing this week for Team USA and the Dwarf Athletic Association of America (DAAA) in the 2013 World Dwarf Games, running Aug. 3-10 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.
Cekanor was scheduled to compete in individual and team sports, including soccer, basketball, volleyball, floor hockey, badminton, table tennis and boccia.
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. Almost 400 dwarf athletes of all ages and abilities from 18 countries will be participating. TEAM USA has 204 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.
"While we have an opportunity to compete on a national level, there is a special sense of pride competing for your country," Cekanor said in a release. "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."
Because dwarfism is such a low incidence occurrence, dwarf athletes have very few opportunities to compete on a level playing field. Cekanor is a junior at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, where he is part of the state title-winning soccer program.
The DAAA was founded in 1985 as a nonprofit organization. For more info on the World Dwarf Games, visit the organization's website at 2013worlddwarfgames.org.