More than 2,800 Special Olympics Michigan athletes, the highest number in eight years, will compete at the State Summer Games on Central Michigan University’s campus May 29 through 31.
Joining the athletes will be approximately 3,400 coaches, volunteers, chaperones, family members and spectators.
The event will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 29, with opening ceremonies at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. Opening ceremonies, which is open to the public, will include a parade of athletes, the lighting of the torch, a Coast Guard flyover and a performance by Shubha Vedula. Athletes will then compete in 10 different sporting events at various campus venues throughout Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31. Get the full schedule of events at the Special Olympics Michigan website.
Hundreds of CMU faculty, staff, students and student-athletes take part in the State Summer Games as volunteers each year. For 12 years, faculty and staff have participated in a friendly competition to raise money for the event. This year’s competition raised more than $26,000, which provided sponsorship for 435 athletes to attend the games.
CMU has been in partnership with Special Olympics Michigan for more than 40 years, with the organization’s headquarters located on CMU’s campus. The State Summer Games have been hosted at CMU since 1973.
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Athletes are given continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness and athletic skill, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community. Special Olympics Michigan offers more than 440 local competitions and eight state-level competitions each year.