Special Olympics to draw thousands

Get ready to GO WILD! as the Special Olympics Missouri State Summer Games is set to bring more than 2,500 athletes and coaches from around the state to Columbia from May 30-June 2. This state-level event takes place at the University of Missouri, Hickman High School, Town and Country Lanes and Columbia College.

The State Summer Games officially kick off at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 31, with the Opening Ceremony on Mel Carnahan Quadrangle on the University of Missouri campus. The Opening Ceremony will feature the Parade of Athletes, the culmination of the statewide Law Enforcement Torch Run, the lighting of the Flame of Hope, the traditional declaration, a special performance by the ZOOperstars and other safari-themed fun. The event is free and open to the public!
Competition events will take place at four venues: Columbia College, University of Missouri, Hickman High School and Town and Country Lanes. Six summer sports are featured: track and field, aquatics, powerlifting, basketball, bowling and volleyball. Competition begins at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 30, and runs through 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2.
Please visit www.somo.org/summergames to make a donation, register to volunteer and for more information. The public is encouraged to attend all events. We’re on a mission to put “fans in the stands” to cheer for our athletes. Even if you can only stay an hour or two, the athletes will greatly appreciate your support from the stands or the sidelines working alongside them.
Venues and times are as follows:
Track & Field – Hickman High School
Saturday, June 1 – 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 2 – 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Aquatics – University of Missouri Student Recreational Center
Saturday, June 1 – 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. & 1:45 – 6 p.m.
Powerlifting – University of Missouri Student Recreational Center
Saturday, June 1 – 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Basketball – University of Missouri Student Recreational Center
Thursday, May 30 – 11:30 a.m – 6 p.m.
Friday, May 31 – 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Volleyball – Columbia College
Friday, May 31 – 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Bowling – Town and Country Lanes
Saturday, June 1 – 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, June 2 – 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Special Olympics is dedicated to improving the overall health and fitness of our athletes, not only through organized sports training and competition but by also providing free health screenings through the Healthy Athletes program. All of these screenings are provided for SOMO athletes free of charge.  The Healthy Athlete Park will be from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Friday, May 31 at the Mizzou Student Center and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, June 1 also at the Mizzou Student Center.
The State Summer Games would not be possible without the generous contributions of our sponsors. Thank you to our year-round partners: Knights of Columbus, the Law Enforcement Torch Run and Shop ‘n Save. Our presenting sponsors are: Southwest Dairy Farmers, Zimmer Radio Group, Columbia Missourian, Veterans United Foundation, Networks of Mid-Missouri (KMIZ), BreakTime and Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau.  
For more information about the 2013 State Summer Games, please contact Brandon Schatsiek at 573.635.1660 or email schatsiek@somo.org and visit the Special Olympics Missouri website at www.somo.org.
Special Olympics Missouri is a year-round program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. More than 16,000 athletes participate in 21 Olympic-type sports throughout the state. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with their fellow athletes, their family and friends, and communities across Missouri.
Special Olympics Missouri is proud of our financial health returning 82 percent of every dollar back to program services. We are privileged to be recognized with these honors: Better Business Bureau A+ Charity Accreditation, Charity Navigator 4-star rating and an inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame – Class of 2013.