1,500 athletes to compete in the Summer Games at TU June 8-10
TOWSON, Md. (May 29, 2007)--Olympic fever is building all over Maryland–but especially in Towson--as around 1,500 inspirational athletes prepare to compete in the 2007 Special Olympics Maryland (SOMD) Summer Games at Towson University on June 8, 9 and 10.
Throughout the weekend, athletes from every county in the state will go for the gold in aquatics, track and field, bocce and softball. In addition to the action and excitement of the sports competitions, the SOMD Summer Games also includes all the pageantry of the regular Olympics with a dramatic Opening Ceremony Friday evening featuring the Parade of Athletes, and the lighting of the Special Olympics cauldron; Olympic Park; and official awards presentations at each sports venue.
Aall of the activities are open to the public at no charge. The schedule is as follows (all times are approximate and subject to change):
Opening Ceremony – Friday, June 8 @ 7:30 – 9:15 PM in the Towson Center – Towson University
Competition – Saturday, June 9: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. / Sunday, June 10: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Bocce - Burdick Fields; Athletics – Calvert Hall College High School; Aquatics – Burdick Hall; Softball – Towson Softball Fields)
Victory Dance– Saturday, June 9 / 6-9 PM – Lot 9, next to University Union
Closing Ceremony – Sunday, June 10 – at each individual sports venue; times vary by location
A number of special guests are scheduled to participate in Friday evening’s Opening Ceremony as a salute to the competitors, including Gov. Martin O’Malley, retired Pro-Bowler Raven Michael McCrary, and Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.
A new feature to this year’s Summer Games is the first-ever Block Party being held for sponsors, family members, and any Cheer Team members who are attending the Opening Ceremony in support of the athletes. The Block Party begins at 5:30 p.m. in Lot 20, and includes complimentary food and beverage, DJ music and entertainment for the kids. The first 1,000 spectators through the door at the Towson Center later that evening will receive a SOMD Triumph Towel. For more information or to register a Cheer Team, visit www.somd.org.
Other Summer Games highlights include Olympic Park–a designated area with a variety of games, static displays, entertainment and giveaways where athletes and family members can go between competitions Saturday afternoon and evening; the Victory Dance Saturday evening; family reception and live auction; and free Healthy Athletes screenings by volunteer medical professionals.
“This weekend is one of the most celebrated weekends of the year for the competitors, and it is only fitting that all of Maryland should stop and salute these athletes for their courage, their spirit, and their accomplishments,” said Patricia Krebs, SOMD President and CEO. “They have overcome enormous obstacles to simply make it onto the playing fields and win or lose, they represent what is best in all of us.”
The Summer Games official competition also includes a one-day equestrian competition at the at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center on Saturday, June 3 for nearly 150 athletes.
The 2007 Summer Games at Towson University is made possible by the following sponsors: Legacy Partners Constellation Energy, the Baltimore Council of Ravens Roosts and the Elsie and Marvin Dekelboum Foundation; Presenting Sponsor Aerotek; Official Media Partners Comcast and WBAL-TV Ch. 11; Official Airline Partner Southwest Airlines; Gold Sponsors New Day Financial, UPS, McCrary Development and Under Armour; Silver Sponsors TransMark, SMART Company, Saucy Salamander Catering Company, HOG-Baltimore Chapter and the Mercantile Bank Tennis Challenge; Bronze Sponsors CVS/pharmacy, Maryland Screen Printers, PC’s in a Pinch and Amerigroup; Athlete Sponsors PYXIS Systems International, Banner Life, and Group Benefit Review; Service Partners Knights of Columbus, The American Legion, Sons of the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary.
SOMD is a year-round sports organization dedicated to providing quality sports training and competition opportunities to Maryland’s children and adults with intellectual disabilities and/or closely related development disabilities. SOMD currently serves 10,000 athletes statewide, and offers 28 sports, all at no cost to the athletes or their families. For more information about SOMD visit www.somd.org or call 410-789-6677.