(Press Release) MADISON, Wis. – Nearly 2,000 athletes will put on their uniforms, lace up their sneakers and meet once again to compete at the 2012 Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) State Summer Games June 7-9, 2012 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
The event will kick off at 6:00 p.m. at Colman Track with an Opening Ceremony in celebration of Special Olympics Wisconsin’s 40th anniversary. Be a fan, bring a chair, and find your spot along the track to watch the law enforcement torch run parade, full athlete parade, and hear athlete stories and SOWI milestones from the past 40 years.
Swimming, track & field, power lifting, and soccer competitions will take place at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on Friday, June 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, June 9 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers are still needed to assist with various tasks including athlete escorting, award presentations, event timing and food services. All volunteers receive a free T-shirt. To volunteer, visit SpecialOlympicsWisconsin.org or for more information call 800-552-1324.
When not competing, athletes will enjoy the games and entertainment at Victory Village (inside the Health Enhancement Center) including the Families and Fans in the Stands tent, BINGO, live entertainment such as the Central Wisconsin country-line dancers, therapy dogs, pictures with Stevie Pointer (the Stevens Point mascot), a dance team and karaoke. The Closing Ceremony and Dance Friday night will feature a sixties theme with athletes showing off their best tie-dye or vintage SOWI gear!
Athletes will receive free on-site health care screenings at the Healthy Athletes Program presented by WalMart located at the Health Enhancement Center from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 8th and from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the UW-Stevens Point Audiology Clinic on Saturday, June 9th. On Friday, volunteer dentists and dental hygienists will offer dental screenings, fluoride varnish, mouth guards and oral health education for the athletes while Lions Club International sponsored Opening Eyes offers vision exams and provides prescription glasses and sport goggles for athletes in need. The Health Promotion area will offer education on nutrition, physical fitness, smoking cessation and other great health tips for athletes. This area will also host nurses, doctors and dietitians to take athletes’ blood pressure, bone mineral density, and determine body mass index. On Saturday, Healthy Hearing volunteer professionals will screen and educate athletes on proper audiological care.
SOWI provides year-round training and competition opportunities through 18 different Olympic-type sports for nearly 10,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities. Thank you to Kwik Trip and the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the Mission Partners of SOWI, enabling the organization to hold 137 statewide competitions and five state tournaments per year.