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Special Olympics Kentucky state Summer Games returns to EKU in Richmond June 3-4

Special Olympics Kentucky’s signature event will return to Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond for the 27th year June 3-4.

More than 900 athletes from across the state are expected to compete this year in bocce, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, swimming or track and field. This will be the first time since 2019 that the Games will be held as a multi-day event.

Summer Games events will start at 6 p.m. on June 3 with a brief opening ceremony at Tom Samuels Track. Competition will get underway immediately after in track, swimming and bocce.

The Games will continue at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 4, with athletes competing in bocce, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, swimming and track and field.

In addition to the competitive events, Chick-fil-A Olympic Town, which includes several interactive activities for athletes and their families will once again be part of the Summer Games experience from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Athletes are encouraged to visit Olympic Town when they aren’t competing.

Olympic Town is also the location of the annual Healthy Athletes Initiative. This year’s Healthy Athletes program will feature Opening Eyes vision screening, which gives athletes who need them the opportunity to receive eyeglasses free of charge from the Kentucky Lions Club.

File photo

Prior to the start of the Summer Games, there will be a pre-Games video released on the Special Olympics Kentucky Facebook page and YouTube channel at noon on Friday, June 3.

Volunteers are still needed for several venues at the Games. For volunteer opportunities, contact Kelli Firquin at 800-633-7403 or kfirquin@soky.org.

For information about the 2022 Special Olympics Kentucky State Summer Games, contact Special Olympics Kentucky communications director Mark Buerger at 502-695-8222 or via e-mail at mbuerger@soky.org.

This is the 10th year that Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives has served as the Platinum Sponsor of the State Summer Games. In addition to financial support, Kentucky Touchstone provides bottled water for every athlete, coach and volunteer lunch on Saturday. Dozens of Kentucky Touchstone team members volunteer at the Games presenting awards at the track and field venue.

In addition to Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, The 2022 Special Olympics Kentucky State Summer Games are made possible through the generosity of Special Olympics Kentucky year-round partners Texas Roadhouse and Toyota Motor Corporation; Gold Sponsors Chick-fil-A, amentum, Walmart, the Kentucky Knights of Columbus, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Kentucky and Jersey Mike’s Subs; Silver Sponsors Dever Golf Cars, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond Tourism and Southland Dairy Farmers; Bronze Sponsors City of Richmond, EKU Catering, Greentree Forest Products, LBX Company, Lockheed-Martin, Penske Truck Rental, Waste Connections and Whitaker Bank.

This will be the eighth year that Chick-fil-A Greater Lexington stores are teaming up to provide all lunches for athletes, coaches and volunteers at the Games.

Special Olympics is the world’s largest program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Participation in competitive events is open to all individuals eight years of age or older. Training and competition in local, area, state, and national programs is offered year-round in Kentucky in 15 sports.

In addition to its traditional sports competitions, Special Olympics also offers early childhood programming through the Young Athletes Program and medical screenings though the Healthy Athletes Initiative. Special Olympics Kentucky began as a one-day event in Louisville in 1970 and has expanded to serve more than 11,300 athletes statewide annually. Special Olympics celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the global movement in 2018.

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