COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) – Organizers have been gearing up to prepare for the 46th annual State Summer Games Opening Ceremonies and other athletic events.
The events will be held May 9-10 in Columbia.
The event will bring together 1400 athletes, 250 coaches and hundreds of families, caregivers and volunteers from all over the state.
Athletes can compete at various levels in six sports; Aquatics, Badminton, Bocce, Bowling, Gymnastics, Powerlifting, Track and Field and Softball.
Beginning Friday, May 9, the Summer Games will kick off with athlete and family registration at Fort Jackson. Opening Ceremonies will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Solomon Center and will include a Parade of Athletes, lighting of the cauldron, dinner and entertainment.
The following day, Saturday, May 10, aquatics, badminton, bocce, bowling, powerlifting and softball will be held at various facilities on post at Fort Jackson. Gymnastics will be held at All-Star Gymnastics, on Fernandina Road in Irmo and Track and field will be held at Westwood High School on Turkey Farm Road in Blythewood.
Saturday will close with Closing Ceremony and Victory Dance held at the Solomon Center.
Awards and Olympic Town will be held throughout the day at the Pavilion Recreation Complex.
Another program being offered this year is Opening Eyes.
Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program trains local clinicians on how to examine and work with patients with intellectual disabilities. Through the Opening Eyes program, athletes can get free eyeglasses.
Its mission is to provide year-round training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for persons eight years of age and older with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
State Summer Games Schedule of Events
Friday, May 9:
7:30 p.m.: Opening Ceremonies, Solomon Center, Fort Jackson
Saturday, May 10:
8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Track and Field/Athletics, Westwood High School
8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Bowling, Century Lanes/Ivy Lanes, Fort Jackson
8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Masters Bocce, Darby Field, Fort Jackson
8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Softball, Hilton Field, Fort. Jackson
9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Badminton, Westwood High School
9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Aquatics, Knight Pool, Fort Jackson
9:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Powerlifting, Vanguard Gym, Fort Jackson
10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Gymnastics, All Star Gymnastics
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Young Athletes, Darby Field, Fort Jackson
7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Victory Celebration/Dance, Solomon Center, Fort Jackson