Special Olympics New York Returns to Rochester for 2013 Winter Games

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 4, 2013

All events free and open to the public

The City of Rochester will host a press conference on Thursday, February 7 at 11am welcoming Special Olympics New York back for their 2013 State Winter Games, at the Radisson – Rochester Riverside, in the Riverview Lounge Ballroom. More than 650 Athletes and coaches from across the state will come together for this culminating event of the Winter season. Competitions will take place on Saturday, February 23rd with the Opening Ceremonies on Friday, February 22nd at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.   Returning as the Honorary Chair, County Executive Maggie Brooks will be on hand to say a few words along with Rochester Mayor, Thomas Richards.

Winter Games is one of three annual state games and more than 3,500 total sports experiences held each year throughout New York. Volunteers from surrounding communities will be needed to support the event.

“Monroe County is proud to welcome back the Special Olympics New York Winter State Games, which serve as a great opportunity for athletes from across the State to showcase their talents and skills in addition to learning confidence and courage,” said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks. “The return of the Winter Games to Rochester is a testament to the commitment of our community partners, volunteers, and first-class sporting facilities. On behalf of our entire community, I look forward to continuing Monroe County’s partnership with the Special Olympics and am thrilled to welcome the Games and athletes back to our area.”

“We are certainly thankful for our partnership with Special Olympics New York and its efforts in promoting and fostering the ideals of acceptance and inclusion throughout the state,” said Rochester Mayor Thomas S. Richards. “We welcome all of the athletes and their families to Rochester, as well as the thousands of coaches and volunteers who make this event possible. We are excited that the Winter Games are just around the corner, and it is an honor to host the games once again.”

Volunteers are needed to fill key roles in support of the Winter Games competitions:

  • Staff the following sports venues: Cross skiing & alpine skiing, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing.
  • Set up/break down sports venues, and distribute lunch, and water to athletes and coaches.
  • Support our Opening Ceremonies.
  • Be Fans in the Stands at Opening Ceremonies and at sports venues, cheering the athletes on to victory.

For more information on volunteering email volunteer@nyso.org or call 1-800-836-6976. Register online or download the pdf at www.specialolympicsny.org.

Athletic competition takes place Saturday, February 23rd in 5 Olympic-style sports including alpine skiing, cross country skiing, floor hockey, snowshoeing and figure skating.

Special Olympics New York is grateful for support from Monroe County, VisitRochester, City of Rochester, The Golisano Foundation, Chobani, CSEA and the Knights of Columbus.

Rochester Polar Plunge to take place Sunday, February 10th, Ontario Beach Park, Charlotte Beach

Registration begins at 9am, Plunge at Noon

Help raise money and awareness for competitions, like the State Winter Games, by joining us for the Rochester Polar Plunge! Last year over $220,000 was raised by participants who plunged into the icy waters of Lake Ontario, and we hope to have another record-setting year!

Sign up to take the Plunge at www.polarplungeny.org. For more information, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RochesterPolarPlunge.

Special Olympics is the largest amateur sports organization in the world.  With 55,698 athletes, Special Olympics New York is the largest chapter in North America and the 6th largest chapter in the world.  Special Olympics New York athletes train and compete year-round in 22 sports, the Young Athletes Program and the Motor Activities Training Program – at no cost to the athlete, their families or their caregivers. 

For further information about sponsorship opportunities contact Tysha Martin at 585-586-7400 x 109.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Renee Snyder, Vice President of Development & Public Awareness, 518-203-8348, rsnyder@nyso.org