Escambia /Santa Rosa is proud to announce the successful return of a delegation of 40 athletes, volunteer coaches and unified partners from the 2013 Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games. The Games were held May 17 -18 at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Members of our delegation competed in Soccer, Tennis, Track & Field, Bocce and Volleyball, bringing home a grand total of six gold medals, nine silver medals, two bronze medals and one 4th place ribbon.
A highlight of the event is when runners enter the stadium for the final leg of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Florida. The torch run began its journey here in Escambia County in March and ended at the lighting of the “Flame of Hope” in Champion Stadium, signifying the opening of State Summer Games. All of the 1,800 athletes and 775 volunteers from throughout Florida cheered their hearts out as 300+ law enforcement officers entered the stadium on motorcycles and in police vehicles, all with sirens and lights blazing. An appearance by Mickey Mouse, an inspirational speech by Julie Foudy, a two-time Olympic gold medalist for Team USA women’s soccer, and a spectacular fireworks display completed this amazing experience for athletes, family members and volunteers alike.
We are always proud of our local Special Olympics athletes who compete at State Summer Games, but equally applaud all athletes who train and compete throughout the year. We would like to thank those who helped sponsor our trip to State Summer Games this year and all who have graciously volunteered their time and talent and consistently inspire greatness in our athletes.
Special Olympics Florida provides year-round sports training and competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, at no cost to the athlete or their caregiver, as a means to achieve physical fitness, self-esteem, socialization skills, and the life skills necessary to be a productive, respected and contributing members of their communities. Learn more at www.specialolympicsescambia.org or www.specialolympicsflorida.org