ESU Athletic Trainer to Serve Pennsylvania Team at Special Olympics USA Games

Jayme Galdieri

Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on June 1, 2022, No Comments

Jayme Galdieri, an athletic trainer in the department of intercollegiate athletics at East Stroudsburg University, was selected to serve as Medical Director for Team Pennsylvania for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. The Games will be held in Orlando, Florida June 5 – 11.

Over 100 athletes will be competing for Team Pennsylvania in 12 of the Games’ 19 sports. Galdieri’s work began when he was appointed to the position in spring 2021. He has reviewed medical paperwork for all the competitors, helped the Special Olympics Pa. leadership team with planning, and attended a training camp to prepare members of Team Pa. that will be traveling to the USA Games. Once the team arrives in Orlando, he will work with on-site medical staff at each venue to provide care for the each member of the team and act as the liaison between the on-site medical staff, athletes, coaches, and parents.

Galdieri became involved in the Special Olympics Pa. Summer Games when he was an athletic training student, and continued to volunteer once he graduated and earned his license and certification to practice as an athletic trainer. Since 2012 he has been one of the athletic training coordinators for the Summer Games. A big part of that role entails recruiting medical volunteers – athletic trainers, athletic training students, physicians, and nurses – and then getting those volunteers housing and meals while at the Games, while also staffing each venue each day of the Summer Games with medical personnel.

After 20 years, Galdieri continues to be excited about volunteering with the Pennsylvania Special Olympics. “I knew after my first year or two that this was something I wanted to be involved with long-term, I want to help provide these athletes with the best experience possible. The Summer Games represents the biggest event of the year for the vast majority of the competitors. Few will go on to represent at the USA Games, and fewer still may be selected for the World Games,” he said. “Also, this is an underserved population, and these athletes can sustain the same injuries as traditional athletes. Athletic trainers provide care for the active population, and Special Olympics athletes are no exception.”

There are also educational reasons he continues to volunteer. “This gives me the opportunity to hone my skills and to care for athletes with injuries, illnesses, and comorbidities not seen in the traditional athlete population. I also encourage other athletic trainers and athletic training students to volunteer. It’s a great opportunity for them to increase their knowledge base, connect with other athletic trainers across Pennsylvania, and provide Special Olympics athletes in Pennsylvania with sufficient medical care.”  Since his time ESU, Galdieri has brought ESU faculty and graduate assistant athletic trainers with him as volunteers to the Pa. Summer Games. However, he will be the sole medical person traveling to Florida representing Team Pennsylvania in the USA Games.