Special Olympics New York 2010 / 2011 State Winter Games, February in Syracuse Press Conference

November 30, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009 at 11:00 AM WHO: Joanne Mahoney, Onondaga County Executive
James Gaspo, President, Citizens Bank New York
Evelyn Carter, Consumer Affairs Manager, Wegmans Food Markets
Kathryn Glover, Special Olympics Athlete
Neal Johnson, President and CEO, Special Olympics New York

WHAT: Press Conference by the Onondaga County Executive’s office welcoming
Special Olympics New York’s 2010 / 2011 StateWinter Games.

WHEN: 11:00 AM, Monday, November 30

WHERE: Onondaga County Executive Office, John H. Mulroy Civic Center,
14th Floor, 421 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, New York

WHY: Special Olympics New York’s 2010 / 2011 State Winter Games are among
three annual State Games and more than 4,000 competitive experiences held each year throughout New York. All events are free and open to the public.

Co-Honorary Chairs of the State Winter Games are Joanne Mahoney, Onondaga County Executive and James Gaspo, President, Citizens Bank New York. Co-Games Organizing Committee Chairs are William Fisher and Ann Rooney also from the Onondaga County Executive’s office. Citizens Bank and Wegmans Food Markets are Premiere event sponsors.

Over 400 Special Olympics athletes and coaches from across New York will compete in Alpine and Nordic Skiing, Speed and Figure Skating, Floor Hockey and Showshoeing. More than 450 volunteers from surrounding communities will be needed to support the event.

The 2010 State Winter Games will begin with Opening Ceremonies at 7:00 PM on Friday, February 5 and athletic competitions will be held on Saturday, February 6, beginning at 8:30 AM.

Special Olympics New York Athlete Spends Day at State Capitol

March 23, 2009

Special Olympics New York Athlete Spends Day at State Capitol
On March 23, 2009, Peter Dailey, World Games athlete from the Genesee Region, received a personal invitation to the State Capitol for a special Resolution presentation in the Assembly Chambers. Assemblyman Koon, who represents Peter and the 135th Assembly district, requested this presentation, and spent the day with Peter in light of his recent accomplishments in the 2009 Winter World Games in Boise, Idaho.

Accompanied by his mother and grandmother, Peter started the event-packed day with a live televised interview on Assembly Update. The Assemblyman congratulated Peter on his bronze medal finishing during these 2009 World Games, and applauded his determination and commitment while competing with Special Olympics.

Following the show and a radio interview, Assemblyman Koon generously gave Peter and his family a historic tour throughout the State Capitol. Sitting alongside the Assemblyman during session that afternoon, Assemblyman Koon shared Peter’s recent accomplishments while in Boise in front of a full Chamber of spectators and New York Assembly representatives. Peter received a moving standing ovation for his courageous efforts while representing New York and the entire nation during these Global Games.

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.


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