Special Olympics Summer Games June 12 and 13

Anaheim Ducks Player Bobby Ryan to address annual Breakfast With Champions

LONG BEACH, Calif., June 2, 2010 -- Special Olympics Southern California is hosting its biggest sports event of the year—the 2010 Summer Games at California State University, Long Beach. The public is invited to join in the fun and cheer on the more than 1,100 athletes that will participate in six different competitions on June 12 and 13. Including athletes, coaches, volunteers, and spectators, the Summer Games is expected to attract more than 6,000 people over the course of the two-day event; admission is free.

The 41st annual Summer Games begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday with the Opening Ceremony, emceed by KTLA sports anchor, Derrin Horton. The ceremony includes the traditional Parade of Athletes and lighting of the cauldron, using a torch that was part of a two-week Torch Run relay organized by Southern California law enforcement agencies. Competitions will follow the ceremony starting at noon and ending at 5 p.m. and resume on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sports competitions include aquatics, athletics (track/ field), basketball, bocce, golf and gymnastics. Gold, silver, and bronze medals will be presented after competitions at each sports venue. More details are available at www.sosc.org.  
 
“While our athletes participate in sports year-round through Special Olympics, the Summer Games is our largest competition and one that our athletes and the public look forward to every year,” said Bill Shumard, President and CEO of Special Olympics Southern California. “If you’ve never been to one of our events, bring your friends and family to see how Special Olympics changes the lives of everyone involved in our movement.”

New to this year’s Summer Games is the Special Olympics Dream House Raffle on June 13 at 12:30 p.m., where 350 prizes and the grand-prize winner will be drawn. Net proceeds from the raffle will support programs for Special Olympics athletes. Everyone will also be treated to a free piece of Dream House Raffle cake, courtesy of The Vons Foundation, which is the Summer Games Title Sponsor.

In Summer Games tradition, the Rafer Johnson Breakfast With Champions is set for Saturday, June 12, at 11:30a.m. This year’s keynote speaker is Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks forward and U.S. Hockey Olympic silver medalist. In addition, news anchor Ed Arnold will receive the first Rafer Johnson Humanitarian Award. Arnold is one of SOSC’s founding Board Members. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online at www.breakfastwithchampions.org.

The Summer Games also provides an opportunity for athletes to receive health screenings to examine the athletes’ general health and improve their ability to train and compete in Special Olympics. Volunteer health professionals in audiology, physical therapy, podiatry, and optometry offer free screenings to Special Olympics athletes at the Healthy Athletes Village.

The 2010 Summer Games are made possible with the help of 3,000 volunteers and generous contributions from individuals and corporate sponsors, including The Vons Foundation, The Walt Disney Company, KTLA, Mattel, Mitchell E. Gordon Memorial Fund, Summit Entertainment, Toyota and UPS.

Special Olympics athletes and staff are available for media prior to and during the Summer Games weekend. Competing athletes and their coaches represent the following cities and counties throughout Southern California: Antelope Valley, Imperial Valley, Kern County, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Mojave River, Morongo Basin, Orange County, Pasadena, Pomona, Riverside, Palm Springs, San Bernardino County, San Diego County, San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Clarita, South Bay, Temecula, and Ventura.

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Media Check-In: For credentials and access to sports venues, please check in at the Information Booth, located near the Pyramid, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. After that time, check in at the Information Booth in Expo Park or call Kim Pine, 562.221.3787 (cell).

About Special Olympics: Special Olympics Southern California has been changing lives through the power of sport for more than 40 years. Special Olympics offers opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities to participate in year-round sports training and competition. Special Olympics Southern California appreciates the support of its year-round Mission Partners: KTLA, Law Enforcement Torch Run, Summit Entertainment, Toyota, The Vons Foundation, and Walmart. For more information about how to compete, volunteer, coach or donate to Special Olympics Southern California, visit www.sosc.org.  

Media Contact

Kim Pine, kpine@sosc.org
562.354.2611; cell 562.221.3787

Created by the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation. Authorized and Accredited by
Special Olympics, Inc. for the Benefit of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.

© 2008 - 2010 Special Olympics Southern California