49th Annual Special Olympics Texas Summer Games Returns to Arlington May 24-27

Filed under: Community,DISD,Sports |

More than 3,000 athletes from across Texas will converge on the campus of UT-Arlington to participate in one of six sports during the organization’s largest event of the year.

Austin | Special Olympics Texas’ (SOTX) –  48th annual Summer Games will return to The University of Texas at Arlington and surrounding area venues from Thursday, May 24 – Sunday, May 27. All events are free and open to the public. The four-day event is SOTX’s largest competition of the year, featuring more than 3,000 athletes from all around the state of Texas.

On Friday, May 25th at 9:30am Law Enforcement Torch Run Officers known as The Guardians of the Flame will leave Kalpana Chawla Hall (KC Hall) Address: 901 S Oak St, Arlington, TX 76010, the Final Leg Run begins at 9:30 outside the dorm. Some 300 First Responders will make their way through the UTA Campus carrying the Flame of Hope to UTA Maverick Stadium to be followed by a Press Conference at UTA Maverick Stadium at 10 am.

The Opening Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 25 at 7:00 p.m. at Maverick Stadium. The festivities will be co-emceed by Dancing with the Stars alum J.R. Martinez and Austin area SOTX athlete and Global Messenger Morgan Collins. A special guest will declare the Games officially open.

Prior to all athletes will parade into the stadium with their teams and will be formally introduced to the crowd. The Law Enforcement Torch Run group from across the state of Texas will march on to the field of UTA. These First Responders converge on UTA from all cities and counties around Texas carrying the – Flame of Hope –. The passing of the flame will consist of six segments. The Guardians of the Flame will be members of Texas law Enforcement agencies and the torch bearers will be athletes from five Texas regions. It will arrive at the cauldron and the cauldron is lit, signifying the official start of the 2018 Summer Games.

Athletes carrying the flame will be: Seth Williams from Gilmer, Jesse Day from Mineola, Calan Fruge from Killeen, Victoria Martinez from Lubbock, and Christian Grawunder from Brenham.

Competitors will participate in one of six sports: Athletics (track & field), Basketball, Cycling, Gymnastics, Soccer or Tennis. They will be supported by more than 600 coaches and 2,500 volunteers.

Qualifying athletes are at least 12 years old and have been training for their sport for a minimum of 12 weeks, while also participating at an area-level competition. Some competitors have already qualified to represent Team Texas in the 2018 USA Games in Seattle in July. They will be able to get one more competition under their belts before heading to the Pacific Northwest.

For the second year, the Athletics competition will include a Unified Champion Schools Quadrathlon. Four school districts will bring seven teams made up of two athletes and two Unified Partners – participants without intellectual disabilities. Together the four will compete as a team, with each person participating in the 100m Run, 200m Run, Mini Javelin and the 4x100m Unified Relay. The scores will be tallied using a point system much like a Pentathlon.

Volunteers will serve in numerous capacities, including: as officials, scorekeepers, athlete escorts, award presenters and administrative support services. Volunteer opportunities are still available, especially for Track on Sunday, May 27. To sign up for a shift, click here or contact Judy Yoshimaru at volunteer@sotx.org). Fans in the Stands are also needed to cheer on the athletes.

For a complete schedule of events and all information regarding the 2018 Summer Games, click here.

Number of Athlete by Sport (pre- scratches)

  • Track & Field – 1,633
  • Basketball – 1,122
  • Soccer – 151
  • Tennis – 97
  • Cycling – 62
  • Gymnastics – 45