1,800 athletes/coaches coming to Buffalo to compete; all events free and open to the public
Special Olympics New York invites Western New Yorkers of all ages to come out to the University at Buffalo June 14 and 15 to cheer on the 1,800 athletes and coaches from the region and across the state competing in the annual State Summer Games.
The State Summer Games is the largest competition of the year in New York for Special Olympics athletes, some of whom are past and future participants in Special Olympics World Games.
"People in Buffalo Niagara have been particularly supportive of our efforts in previous years, and our athletes look forward to the enthusiastic support area fans will provide before and during the Games," said Neal J. Johnson, president and CEO of Special Olympics New York. "We especially encourage families to come and enjoy the festivities."
People can attend the free opening ceremonies, featuring the customary parade of athletes, beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 14, at Alumni Arena on UB's North Campus. All events and parking are free.
Along with athletes participating in the official opening of the Games with the traditional lighting of the Special Olympics cauldron, attendees will also hear the world premiere of a special song "No Age in Love" written and performed by Tom Lorentz of East Amherst, a 2012 inductee into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.
The Summer Games are the largest of two annual State Games with more than 4,000 competitive experiences held each year throughout New York. Nearly 1,800 athletes and coaches will travel to Buffalo from around the state for the competition. Athletes must qualify at a local level to compete in the State Summer Games.
All events, including the opening and closing ceremonies, and all competitions, are free and open to the general public. More information is available at http://nyso.org/statesummer.php.
Special Olympics New York provides year-round sports training and competition in 22 Olympic-style sports to children and adults with intellectual disabilities at no cost to the athletes, their families or caregivers. More than 61,000 athletes train and compete with Special Olympics New York, the largest Special Olympics program in North America.
Pictured are Special Olympics New York athletes. (photo by Ken Smith)