Nearly 1.5k athletes rally in Point for Special Olympics Summer Games
By Taylor J. Hale
STEVENS POINT – Over 1,300 athletes from across the state gathered at UW-Stevens Point (UWSP) to celebrate the 40th Special Olympics Summer Games on June 6.
The ceremony featured a parade of athletes and an official torch run and lighting.
“This night, this weekend, this competition, and this 40-year tradition of coming together in Stevens Point — all of this is to celebrate you and your accomplishments,” said Mayor Mike Wiza to the athletes at the event.
Wiza hosted this year’s opening ceremony along with UWSP Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Al Thompson and UWSP basketball coach Jack Bennet.
“Your example of being proud, thankful, even if you don’t win, is something we need to learn in this country,” Bennet said to the crowd. “And you athletes do it the best.”
The three-day event included swimming, track and field, and a soccer tournament. Over 600 volunteers helped run and orchestrate 56 athletic events during the competition.
Governor Tony Evers created a video that aired at the event, giving words of encouragement to participants.
“As you prepare to get started here today, I want to remind you of the athlete oath, ‘let me win, if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt,’” he said in the video. “You’ve all been brave by coming here today. I am rooting for all of you.”
Competition took place June 7-8.