FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 20, 2018
Rochester, NY – This weekend, the Greater Rochester community will be hosting Special Olympics New York State Winter Games, February 23-24, 2018. Nearly 1,000 athletes and coaches will travel from around the state to compete in a variety of winter sports at venues across the Greater Rochester Area. The Honorary Chair of the State Winter Games is Monroe County Executive, Cheryl Dinolfo. The Winter Games Organizing Committee is led by Co-Chairs Dennis Mullen, President and Founder, The Mullen Group and Maggie Brooks, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Regional Transit Service.
“The Greater Rochester Area and surrounding regions has welcomed Special Olympics New York with open arms and we are thrilled to bring our Winter Games to the region this weekend,” said Shelly Nangle, Interim President and CEO of Special Olympics New York. “The support we have received from the Greater Rochester Area over the years has been unprecedented and it clearly demonstrates how important our Games are to so many people.”
The 2018 State Winter Games will commence at 8 p.m. Friday, February 23 with Opening Ceremonies, including a ceremonial parade of athletes, motivational speeches, local entertainment and the Law Enforcement Torch Run at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center which will also serve as host of the Floor Hockey competition, Olympic Village, Healthy Athletes, Closing Ceremonies and a Victory Dance on Saturday, February 24, 2018.
- Alpine Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing – Swain Resort, Swain, New York
- Figure Skating – Genesee Valley Sports Complex, Rochester, New York
- Nordic Skiing – Bristol Mountain, Canandaigua, New York
- Floor Hockey – Rochester Riverside Convention Center, Rochester, New York
The 2018 Special Olympics State Winter Games has received great volunteer support, as well as generous local sponsorship support. “Volunteers come out to cheer, make sure all the athletes feel supported and make the Winter Games amazing,” said Cori Piels, Special Olympics New York athlete and competing in the 2018 State Winter Games Figuring Skating competition.
“The Greater Rochester Area’s commitment to the Special Olympics State Winter Games is unprecedented, we are proud to continue the Special Olympics mission of providing athletes with positive, life-affirming experiences at no cost to them or their families,” said Dennis Mullen, President and Founder, The Mullen Group and Maggie Brooks, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Regional Transit Service, Co-Chairs of the 2018 State Winter Games Organizing Committee.
“The corporate community response to partnering with the 2018 Special Olympics New York State Winter Games has been even better than we could have hoped for, and we appreciate the support we’ve received from businesses and volunteers alike,” said Mullen. “We thank our Platinum Sponsor for the State Winter Games, Wegmans along with our Corporate Partners, Visit Rochester, Constellation Brands, The Mullen Group, Monroe County Sports Commission, Dixon-Schwabl, Chobani, The Bonadio Group, E.R. Select, Lily Pond Ventures, Alesco Advisors, Genesee Regional Bank, Paradigm, GLC Business Services, Legacy Dental Lab and our Media Partners 13WHAM/FOX ROCHESTER and D&C Digital.”
“We have been overwhelmed with the support the Genesee Region has shown both Special Olympics New York and the athletes from around New York who will arrive here this weekend for the 2018 State Winter Games,” Nangle said. “These athletes will be the beneficiaries of the hard work and dedication of countless individuals – from local officials and the Games Organizing Committee, to hundreds of volunteers who have selflessly given their time – and they’ll enjoy a weekend of competition and camaraderie they’ll never forget. We thank all who have worked to make the 2018 Winter Games the success we all know they will be.”
Special Olympics is the largest amateur sports organization in the world. With 71,889 athletes, Special Olympics New York is the largest chapter in North America and the sixth-largest chapter in the world. The State Winter Games are one of two annual state games and one of more than 5,000 total competitive experiences held each year throughout New York. 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 athletes, their families or their caregivers.
For Further Information, Contact:
Kelley Ligozio, Special Olympics New York
2018 Rochester Polar Plunge
February 11, 2018
Ontario Beach Park
Registration for the 18th annual Rochester Polar Plunge is now OPEN! Register today! Join in on the FREEZIN’ FOR A REASON fun as we set our fundraising goal to raise $300,000 for our amazing Special Olympics New York athletes so that they can continue to train and compete year-round at no cost to their families, friends or caregivers.
Learn to Ski/Snowboard Open House
Iron Eagle 5k & Fun Run
On Saturday, over 130 runners and walkers came together to honor the late Shane Bartholf, whose life ended too soon, for the inaugural Iron Eagle 5K & Family Run. Shane Bartholf was “relentlessly compassionate, endlessly encouraging and an avid adventure seeker who’s passion was supporting athletes be the best they can be at Special Olympics New York,” said Race Organizer and Sister of Shane, Leah Jacob.
Participants enjoyed a scenic run through the landscapes of Mendon finishing with a medal ceremony, music, bounce houses and sports massages. Over $15,000 was donated to the Genesee Region of Special Olympics New York where Shane volunteered over the years, whether through competition or in the office, Special Olympics is a cause that was near and dear to his heart and Shane’s family is proud to keep his legacy of compassion and love of sport alive with this race.
A special thanks to the Bartholf family for their support and being a friend to Special Olympics New York!