President’s Corner: June

Special Olympics Maryland Summer Games: Celebrating Inclusion and Resilience

The Special Olympics Maryland spring season culminated with our Summer Games at Towson University from June 21-23. This year’s Summer Games, themed “Experience Inclusion,” brought together athletes, volunteers, and supporters in a celebration of athleticism, community, and resilience. Despite the challenges posed by extreme heat, which led to the cancellation of outdoor events in bocce, track and field, and softball, the spirit of the Games remained vibrant and joyous.

The festivities kicked off with an athlete-centered opening ceremony hosted by Special Olympics Maryland athletes Annu Singleton and Candice Herget. Their enthusiastic co-emceeing set the tone for an inclusive and celebratory event. The opening ceremony was a testament to the spirit of the Special Olympics, highlighting the importance of inclusion and the remarkable abilities of all athletes.

Athletes competing in cheerleading and swimming were able to fully participate and enjoy their events despite the heat. The cheerleading competitions were filled with energy and excitement, as teams showcased their skills and teamwork. In the swimming events, athletes demonstrated their dedication and prowess in the pool, earning cheers and applause from enthusiastic spectators.

A crucial component of the Summer Games was the Healthy Athletes venue in the University Union. Here, athletes received exceptional health screenings in seven disciplines, including Opening Eyes (vision), Healthy Hearing (audiology), Special Smiles (dentistry), Fit Feet (podiatry), FUNFitness (physical therapy), Health Promotion (prevention and nutrition), and Strong Minds (emotional health). These screenings, provided by volunteer healthcare professionals, are an essential part of the Special Olympics mission, ensuring that athletes receive comprehensive health evaluations and education to support their overall well-being.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the dance held at Towson Arena, where athletes, coaches, volunteers, and supporters came together to celebrate and enjoy an evening of music and dancing. The dance provided a fun and relaxed environment for everyone to socialize and create lasting memories.

The success of the Summer Games was made possible by the unwavering support of exceptional partners like Allegis Group, Pizza Boli’s, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, and Coca-Cola. Their contributions and commitment to the Special Olympics mission were instrumental in creating a memorable and impactful event.

Moreover, the Games would not have been possible without the dedication and support of the volunteers. Despite the extreme heat, volunteers showed up in large numbers, demonstrating their commitment to the athletes and the Special Olympics community. Their efforts and enthusiasm were vital to the smooth running of the Games and the overall positive experience for everyone involved.

The Special Olympics Maryland Summer Games at Towson University were a shining example of how sports can bring people together, promote inclusion, and celebrate the incredible abilities of all athletes. As the Games concluded, the focus now shifts to future events, with hopes for more opportunities for athletes to showcase their talents and for the continued support of the community.

For more information on upcoming events and how to get involved with Special Olympics Maryland, visit explore this website and follow them us social media. To read more about the lead-up to the 2024 Summer Games, click the button below!