Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games Coming To Walt Disney World
This weekend (May 17 and 18) the Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games are coming to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. More than 2,000 athletes from across the state of Florida will compete. The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is the perfect location as it is one of the premier sites for amateur sports in the nation.
Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games
The event is a culminating event for Special Olympics Florida athletes who have advanced through County and Area Games after a minimum of 10 weeks of training in their selected sport including athletics (track and field), bocce, cheerleading, cycling, soccer and volleyball.
The event is open to the public. It kicks off with an Olympic-style opening ceremony featuring the final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. This is a 1,500-mile intrastate run that began in mid-April in Jacksonville. Finally, it culminates with law enforcement officers from around the state delivering the Flame of Hope to Champion Stadium.
“Ask any athlete about State Summer Games and they will immediately tell you they have their sights set on bringing home a gold medal,” said Special Olympics Florida President & CEO Sherry Wheelock. “Yet this competition represents more than just hours of training, practice and perseverance. It is also a chance to showcase their strengths and abilities to the community as we work to promote inclusion and acceptance both on and off the field.”
Prior To Opening Ceremonies
Prior to the May 17 opening ceremonies, Special Olympics Florida will host the inaugural Corporate Unified Soccer Challenge at the sports complex (Field 27), which will include two teams comprised of Publix Supermarket executives and Publix employees, who are also Special Olympics athletes, squaring off in a friendly soccer match at 5 p.m.
Walt Disney World Resort Host
The Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games is one of three events hosted annually at Walt Disney World Resort. Special Olympics Florida holds the Special Olympics Florida State Golf Championships at the Palm and Oak Trail Golf Courses (Sept. 6-7) and the Special Olympics Florida Fall Classic (Nov. 15-16) at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. This is where athletes will compete in six sports. The events include powerlifting, softball, unified flag football, gymnastics, cheerleading, and track and field. These events are part of the more than 100 entertainment and sporting events that take place each year at the sports complex.
Special Olympics Florida
Special Olympics Florida helps people with intellectual disabilities participate as productive and respected members of society at large. They offer them a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents through sports training and competition. They also increase the public’s awareness of their capabilities and needs.
For additional information on the Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games, including venue details and athletic event schedules, please visit specialolympicsflorida.org.
To learn more about Special Olympics Florida, please visit specialolympicsflorida.org and follow the organization on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
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