SPECIAL OLYMPICS NEW YORK WINTER GAMES and POLAR PLUNGE

January 28, 2009
ROCHESTER, FEBRUARY 6-8 All events free and open to the public

On the weekend of February 6-8 in Rochester, over 1,000 Special Olympics New York athletes and coaches from across the state will join the Winter Games, presented by Wegmans Food Markets.

The event features Floor Hockey at the Fair & Expo Center, Nordic Skiing and Snowshoeing at Bristol Mountain Summit Nordic Center and Alpine Skiing at Bristol Mountain Winter Resort. Winter Games showcases the achievements of Special Olympics athletes and is one of three annual state games and 3,872 total competitions held each year throughout New York.

 Opening Ceremonies: Friday, February 6, 8:00 PM at ESL Sports Centre.

Performed entirely on the ice at ESL Sports Centre, the Opening Ceremonies should prove to be fantastic entertainment for the Rochester community. From the grand entrance of the athletes accompanied by the highly decorated Knights of Columbus to the Bryon-Bergen High School Marching Band playing the famous “Rocky” theme, from figure skating and ice dancing by local Special Olympics athletes, Lakeshore Girls NYNY and GVFSC Synchro to “Greetings from the World Winter Games in Idaho” by SONY CEO Neal Johnson and the 10 SONY athletes at those international games, the excitement of Opening Ceremonies will officially catapult our Winter Weekend into action.

Guest speakers include Emcees Yolanda Vega, New York Lottery and Scott Hetsko, WROC-TV News 8 Now; Keynote Speaker two-time Paralympian Chris Manns, from Buffalo, and Captain of Team USA; speaker Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks; SONY Athletes and Global Messengers from around New York State.

The concluding highlight will be The Law Enforcement Torch Run by local officers and Special Olympics athlete torch runners, who will skate across the ice to light the Special Olympics Cauldron.

 Athletic Competition: Saturday, February 7, beginning at 8:30 AM.

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Competition

8:30AM – 2:30 PM Nordic Skiing Bristol Mt Summit Nordic Center
9:30 AM – 4:30 PM Snowshoeing Bristol Mt Summit Nordic Center
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Alpine Bristol Mountain Winter Resort
8:30 AM – 3:00 PM Floor Hockey Team Fair and Expo Center
10:00 AM – 2:30 PM Floor Hockey Skills Fair and Expo Center
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Olympic Village Fair and Expo Center
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Olympic Village Fair and Expo Center

 Closing Ceremonies: Saturday, February 7, 8:00 – 10:00 PM, Blue Cross Arena
Mid-Michigan Destroyers at Rochester RazorSharks – 7:35 PM

The Mid-Michigan Destroyers will face off against the Rochester Razorsharks at the final exciting event of the Winter Games, the ceremonies that officially close the competitions, including the extinguising of the Flame of Hope in the Olympic Cauldron.

* * *
Special Olympics New York, which does not charge athletes to participate, provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for more than 46,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

According to Neal J. Johnson, president and CEO, Special Olympics aims to demonstrate that when people with and without intellectual disabilities are brought together by its year-round program of training and competition, myths are dispelled, attitudes are changed and new opportunities to embrace and celebrate people with intellectual disabilities are created.

Winter Games is made possible through the generosity of Statewide sponsors New York State United Teachers, Civil Service Employees Association, Law Enforcement Torch Run and New York Lottery; Presenting sponsor, Wegmans Food Markets; Media sponsors, WHAM / WHTK Radio; Gold sponsors, Knights of Columbus, WalMart and Monroe County Sports Commission, Silver sponsors Federation of New York Insurance Professionals and ESL Sports Centre and Bronze sponsor CVS Caremark.

9th Annual Rochester Polar Plunge, Sunday, February 8
The largest Special Olympics fundraising event in the Genesee Region.

A Polar Plunge is a chance to plunge into the winter waters off Charlotte Beach to show support and raise money for the athletes of Special Olympics New York. More than 1,000 plungers are expected this year, providing another spectacular event for the Rochester community to participate in or attend.

Plungers are asked to raise a minimum of $60 to take the plunge and receive an official plunge sweatshirt. Students can raise a minimum of $25. Plunge Teams who pre-register are also eligible to win prizes. The event is free for spectators.

For more information on becoming a Polar Plunger, visit www.specialolympicsNY.org or www.PolarPlunge.net. Statewide sponsors are New York State United Teachers, Law Enforcement Torch Run, New York State Correctional Officers Police Benevolent Association; and the Civil Service Employees Association. Additional sponsors include WBEE / WPXY Radio and Hot Shots Indoor Volleyball.

2008 Winter Games

February 10, 2008

From the grand entrance of the 2008 Winter Games athletes, accompanied by the highly decorated Knights of Columbus, to the Wyoming County Correctional Facility color guard, and from the talented local group “Dance 22” to the Bryon-Bergen High School Marching Band playing the famous “Rocky” theme, the tremendous excitement of Friday’s Opening Ceremonies officially catapulted our Winter Weekend into action in February.

As Special Olympics Coach Richard Miller began to sing the National Anthem, a soft and inspirational accompaniment to his strong voice arose from the nearly 1,000 athletes in the auditorium. In contrast, the highly energized Dance 22 members gyrated, leapt, spun and completely dazzled the athletes with their impressively varied routines, eliciting loud cheers from the audience.

Guest speakers at the event included Emcees Scott Hetsko, WROC-TV News 8 Now; and Yolanda Vega, New York Lottery; Athletes and Global Messengers Cori Piels and Peter Daily; Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn; OMRDD Commissioner Diana Jones Ritter, Olympic Speed Skater Cathy Turner and Wegmans Food Markets’ Marcie Bartolotta.

The concluding highlight was, of course, the Law Enforcement Torch Run by local officers and Special Olympics athlete torch runners, Brian Mann and Cheryl McCrea, who lit the Special Olympics Cauldron just as streams of snow were canon-shot into the crowded auditorium and three SWAT team members repelled from above the stage. It was an awesome evening indeed and Special Olympics New York at its finest.

Then on Saturday, athletes from across the state skated, snowshoed, skied, and hockey-pucked their way through the rigorous Winter Games in chilly Rochester. Venues included the Fair & Expo Center, the Skating Institute of Rochester and Swain Ski Resort. The energy was high at each athletic event, athletes smiling broadly in triumph, congratulating their teammates when defeated, everyone winning pride in accomplishments well done.

Equally enthusiastic were the 500 volunteers attending the event, each of whom took away something special from the experience. Said Sue Jones, longtime volunteer coach from Hudson Valley, “Most people say you’re so wonderful because of what you give to the athletes, but really it’s the other way around, it’s what the athletes give back to us.”

In addition to Presenting Sponsor Wegmans Food Markets, Winter Games were made possible through the generosity of Statewide Sponsors NYSUT – A Union of Professionals; Law Enforcement Torch Run; Media Sponsors WROC-TV and WHAM Radio; Gold Sponsor Knights of Columbus; Silver Sponsor Civil Service Employees Association; and Bronze Sponsors Federation of New York Insurance Professionals and the New York State Correctional Officers Benevolent Association.

SPECIAL OLYMPICS NEW YORK WINTER GAMES COMING TO ROCHESTER FEBRUARY 8-9

January 24, 2008

All events free and open to the public The weekend of February 8-9 in Rochester, over 1,000 Special Olympics New York athletes and coaches from across the state will join the Winter Games, presented by Wegmans Food Markets.

The event features Floor Hockey at the Fair & Expo Center, Figure and Speed Skating at the Skating Institute of Rochester, Nordic Skiing and Snowshoeing at Ellison Park and Alpine Skiing at Swain Resort. Winter Games showcases the achievements of Special Olympics athletes and is one of three annual state games and 400 total competitions held each year throughout New York.

 Opening Ceremonies: Friday, February 8 at 8:00 PM at the Rochester Auditorium,
From the grand entrance of the athletes accompanied by the highly decorated Knights of Columbus to the Wyoming County Correctional Facility color guard, and from the talented local group “Dance 22” to the Bryon-Bergen High School Marching Band playing the famous “Rocky” theme, the excitement of Opening Ceremonies will officially catapult our Winter Weekend into action.

Guest speakers include Emcees Kevin Doran, WROC-TV News 8 Now; and Yolanda Vega, New York Lottery; Athletes and Global Messengers Cori Piels and Peter Daily; Special Olympics Coach Ric Miller as National Anthem singer; and many more.

The concluding highlight will be The Law Enforcement Torch Run by local officers and Special Olympics athlete torch runners, Brian Mann and Cheryl McCrea, who will light the Special Olympics Cauldron.

 Athletic Competition: Saturday, February 9, beginning at 8:30 AM.
For a detailed schedule visit www.specialolympicsNY.org

10:00 AM Alpine Swain Resort
10:00 AM Figure and Speed Skating Skating Institute of Rochester
8:30 AM Floor Hockey Team Fair and Expo Center
9:00 AM Nordic Skiing Ellison Park
9:30 AM Snowshoeing Ellison Park
10:00 AM Floor Hockey Skills Fair and Expo Center

8:30 AM – 3:00 PM Volunteer Check In All Venues
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Olympic Town Fair and Expo Center
8:00 PM – 8:15 PM Closing Ceremonies The Main Street Armory

According to Neal J. Johnson, president and CEO, Special Olympics aims to demonstrate that when people with and without intellectual disabilities are brought together by its year-round program of training and competition, myths are dispelled, attitudes are changed and new opportunities to embrace and celebrate people with intellectual disabilities are created.

In addition to Wegmans Food Markets, Winter Games are made possible through the generosity of Statewide Sponsors New York State United Teachers; Law Enforcement Torch Run; Media Sponsors WROC-TV and WHAM Radio; Gold Sponsor Knights of Columbus; Silver Sponsor Civil Service Employees Association; and Bronze Sponsors Federation of New York Insurance Professionals and the New York State Correctional Officers Benevolent Association.

2007 Fall Games

October 7, 2007

SONY’S reception by the Rochester community for these Fall Games was remarkable. The bountiful support of Monroe County, the enthusiastic volunteerism of area residents, the generosity of local businesses and the outstanding assistance of the many sport venues for our games are tremendous testaments to the valuable resources of the area. We are indebted to everyone for making this experience for our athletes an outstanding and memorable one.

In an unprecedented move, SONY awarded four state-level competitions over two-years to Rochester, these Fall Games inaugurating the excitement. This decision was spearheaded by the Monroe County Sports Commission and Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, and quickly supported by Wegmans, along with our statewide and regional sponsors. We thank them all for their support.

Opening Ceremonies are being heralded as the best indoor ceremonies on record for SONY. It was certainly a magnificent commencement to a day of intense competitions. More than 1,000 athletes proudly paraded into a crowd of fans, cameras, high fives and spectators who came out to the Riverside Convention Center to show their support for these spirited athletes. In full and beautiful regalia, the Knights of Columbus led the athlete parade.

Highlights of the evening included a moving rendition of the national anthem, perfected by Nikta Bell. Sankofa engaged the audience with an energetic and dynamic performance of their African Dance and Drum ensemble. Special Olympics athletes Amanda Vito and Joe Best welcomed everyone to Rochester, and with the help of fellow Genesee region athlete, Teddy Schweitzer, lead the athletes in the Athletes Oath.

The Byron Bergen High School Marching Band jazzed the crowd with its vibrant sound as the Rainbow Guard of Special Olympics cheerleaders waved colorful streamers. The Wyoming Correctional Facility Color Guard “wowed” the gathering with its practiced spinning and tossing of bayonet-fixed rifles. The flashing lights and gunning engines of motorcycles ignited the New York Law Enforcement Torch Run, culminating in two local athletes lighting the Special Olympics Cauldron with the Flame of Hope.

The pinnacle of the evening was Neal Johnson and the Special Olympics World Summer Games team offering their best wishes to the assembled athletes through a video recorded prior to their departure for the World Games in Shanghai, China. As they declared the Fall Games open, a pyrotechnic show sent streams of smoke and lights across the stage to the cheers of all the athletes, coaches, families and friends.

Competition Day brought out the Rochester news hounds who knew where the action was. TV crews filmed stunning soccer moves, photographers’ lenses caught slow moving bocce balls and fast paced cycling races, reporters scribbled notebooks full of gold, silver and bronze medalists’ names during the awards and all treated our athletes and coaches with considerable (and well-deserved!) attention.”

At outlying venues, golfers whizzed triumphantly across fairways in their carts while softball players whacked singles, doubles and home runs, cross country runners huffed and puffed with determination through the park as equestrians elegantly maneuvered their steeds, and roller-skaters did graceful laps around the shiny rink.

Olympic Village Healthy Athletes’ volunteer clinicians examined athletes’ eyes, ears, feet and teeth, providing essential healthcare and offering tips on fitness and nutrition.

Special Olympics merchandise ‘flew off the tables’ until the rain hit the outdoor tent. But being in a true ‘Blue Light Special’ mode, staff quickly moved the merchandise-loaded tables the Total Sports Experience building so that athletes and coaches were able to shop ‘till they dropped at 10 o’clock in the evening! Those athletes still standing moseyed on over to the Victory Dance Celebration for the official close of Fall Games.


1 2 23 24 25