Special Olympians seek gold at Towson University this weekend

By Megan Bradshaw on June 7, 2018

Friday, June 8 kicks off the 40th Special Olympics Summer Games at Towson University

Special Olympians compete at TU
 (photo: Special Olympics)

On Friday, June 8, 1,500 competitors, 250 coaches and 900 volunteers will converge on the campus of Towson University to kick off the 2018 Special Olympics Summer Games. 

One of those competitors will be Candace Whiting. 

A long-time Special Olympics Maryland athlete, she has competed in swimming, kayaking, alpine skiing, golf and tennis, winning a silver medal in alpine skiing at the 2009 World Games in Boise, Idaho. This weekend, she will compete in the 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke, 50 free, team freestyle relay swimming events.

Whiting will give the Games’ keynote address, focusing on her perseverance and determination and how they’ve helped her through life. She is no stranger to public speaking. After completing Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Program (ALP) training, she started her own professional speaking business, Candace Whiting Unlimited. She gives speeches throughout Maryland about her “10 Key Points” to inspire others.

Candace Whiting
Candace Whiting will be an athlete media reporter at this year's National Games. (photo: Special Olympics)

She will also serve as an athlete media reporter at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington, this July. She joins 80 athletes and Unified® partners who will compete in 10 sports during the Games July 1–7. 

Whiting will interview athletes, coaches and officials before and after competition. She attended as an athlete in 2006 and 2010 for gymnastics.

But first, she will be enjoying her final Special Olympics Maryland Games before she moves to Florida later this year. 

Her favorite memories during her 15 years of competing include giving her “Brave in the Attempt” talk in 2017 and winning her silver medal. Whiting has loved her time with Special Olympics Maryland and advises any potential athletes who are unsure about compete to “just do it.”

“If you love friendship and having leadership opportunities and having fun, you’ll love competing in Special Olympics,” she said.

The first events will kick off at 8 a.m. Saturday when the athletes hit the Burdick Pool for individual events and team relays. Athletes will also compete in bocce, cheerleading, softball and athletics events. 

Towson University men’s and women’s basketball, football and swimming & diving student-athletes will be among the TU volunteers this weekend. They will help host the block party and opening ceremony on Friday as well as the swimming events on Saturday and Sunday.

Competition Schedule

Friday, June 8

Cheerleading | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Towson Center
Opening Ceremony | 7:30–9 p.m. | SECU Arena

Saturday, June 9

Swimming | 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Burdick Hall
Bocce | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Tiger Soccer Complex
Softball | 8 a.m.–5 p.m. | TU Varsity Softball Field and Cockeysville Middle School
Athletics | 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Unitas Stadium

Sunday, June 10

Swimming | 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Burdick Hall
Bocce | 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Tiger Soccer Complex
Softball | 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. | TU Varsity Softball Field and Cockeysville Middle School
Athletics | 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Unitas Stadium

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel's priorities for Towson University: Diverse and Inclusive Campus.