Penn State To Host Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s Annual Summer Games Beginning June 8
Update, June 8:
Special Olympics Pennsylvania announced that it is canceling the 2023 Summer Games due to air quality concerns in Centre County.
“SOPA’s mission is to provide year-round training and athletic competition for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID),” the organization shared in a press release Thursday. “The individuals we serve, people with ID, have higher rates of adverse health conditions and are therefore at greater risk. We have been closely monitoring weather and air quality conditions in the State College area and the forecast through this weekend. Based on the best information available to us from a variety of reputable sources, we do not believe conditions would permit us to safely conduct these Games.”
Update, June 7:
Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s Opening Ceremonies on Thursday, June 8, have been relocated to Pegula Ice Arena. The ceremonies will begin at 7:15 p.m.
Penn State will host the Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s (SOPA) 54th annual Summer Games from Thursday, June 8, to Saturday, June 10.
More than 1,650 athletes and 600 coaches will partake in competitions across eight Olympic-type sports, including basketball, equestrian, golf, gymnastics, athletics, softball, swimming, and tennis.
This year, the Summer Games will kick off at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 8, at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park with an opening ceremony that includes the lighting of the Olympic Torch, a celebration with the State College Spikes, dance contests, races, scoreboard games, and more.
The Opening Ceremony will also recognize Loretta Claiborne and Izaak Hobday, two SOPA athletes who will represent Pennsylvania and the United States at this year’s Special Olympics Berlin World Games from June 17 to 25.
The competition venues are as follows:
- Athletics — Outdoor Track
- Basketball — IM Building and White Building Gyms
- Equestrian — Snider Ag Arena
- Golf — Centre Hills Gold Course
- Gymnastics — White Building
- Softball — Park Avenue Fields
- Swimming — Outdoor Pool
- Tennis — Sarni Tennis Center
Here’s a look at some of the events taking place.
Thursday, June 8
- 12 to 4 p.m. — Preliminary competitions
- 1 to 5 p.m. — Swimming preliminary and final competitions
- 1 to 5 p.m. at the Pollock Commons Quad — “Healthy Athletes” screenings designed to help athletes improve their health and fitness.
- 7:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park — Opening Ceremonies
Friday, June 9
- 8 a.m. — Competitions begin.
- 9 a.m. at the Pollock Commons Quad — “Healthy Athletes” program.
- 10 a.m. at the Beaver Hall Quad — “Olympic Village,” where athletes can partake in fun activities between competitions.
- 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. — Golf awards
- 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. — Equestrian awards
- 5 p.m. — Competitions conclude.
- 7 to 9 p.m. at Bigler Field — Sports Fest and Victory Dance. Athletes can enjoy dancing, field games, fun outdoor activities, and a DJ. The Sheetz Family Award for Excellence will also be presented to one athlete.
Saturday, June 10
- 8 a.m. — Competitions begin.
- 10 a.m. at the Beaver Hall Quad — Olympic Village
- 2:30 p.m. — Competitions and awards conclude.
The full schedule of the Summer Games can be found here.
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