Nearly 2,500 athletes from all across the Lone Star State will make their way to Austin for the 23rd annual Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) Winter Games. FromFriday, Feb. 5 through Sunday, Feb. 7, athletes will compete in Bowling, Powerlifting or Volleyball. The weekend opensThursday, Feb. 4 with the Opening Ceremony. Events will be held at various venues throughout the Central Texas area and are free and open to the public. Volunteer opportunities are still available.
The Winter Games Opening Ceremony, held at Shoreline Church, will be co-emceed by FOX 7 Austin (KTBC) chief meteorologist Scott Fisher and SOTX athlete Patrick Rooney. Entertainment will be provided by magician and special illusionist John O’Bryant. This event features the lighting of the SOTX cauldron to signify the start of the Games and this year, The University of Texas Volleyball team will declare the Games officially open.
The Guardians of the Flame will be Texas Law Enforcement Torch Run officers and the torch bearers will be athletes from four Texas regions. John McGovern (Colleyville, TX) will represent the North Region, Brennan O’Donnell (Round Rock, TX) for the South/Central Region, Samuel Silva (Friona, TX) for the West Region and Eddie Garcia (Angleton, TX) will carry for the East Region.
Bowling, the second-most popular SOTX sport – only to Athletics (Track & Field) – will take place at four alleys over the course of the three-day competition, including Dart Bowl, Highland Lanes, Mel’s Lone Star Lanes and Westgate Lanes.
Activities, crafts and games for athletes and their families, as well as free health screenings for athletes through SOTX’s Healthy Athletes ® program will be provided at Athlete Village, located at the Norris Conference Center, on Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The health disciplines being offered are “Healthy Hearing” and “Healthy Promotions” on both days.
Healthy Hearing provides free hearing screenings and Health Promotions provides athletes with information on making healthy lifestyle choices through nutritious foods, physical activity and avoiding tobacco and overexposure to the sun.
Approximately 1,600 volunteers from the community, corporations, schools and universities will contribute their time to serve in numerous capacities, including as officials, scorekeepers, athlete escorts, award presenters, administrative support services, survey conductors and other duties.
For a schedule of events and all information regarding the 2016 Winter Games, click here.
About Special Olympics Texas
Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect. SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 54,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. To learn more, visit www.specialolympicstexas.org or call 800.876.5646. Engage with us on: Twitter @SOTexas; fb.com/SpecialOlympicsTX; youtube.com/specialolympicstexas.
Statewide Year-Round Co-Sponsors: