June 22, 2005
Third Time a Charm at Hofstra University. The Hofstra University campus was the epicenter of great competition, inspiring moments, new records, fun, smiles and excitement for three straight days as the Special Olympics New York 2005 Summer Games came to town. More than 3,000 athletes and coaches competed in the games on Long Island from June 16-19.
The Games started with a bang at the Opening Ceremonies on Thursday night. Although the Ceremony was set to take place outside at the soccer stadium, a storm blew in and forced it inside to the Hofstra Arena. The arena could hardly contain the excitement as the athletes came in to thunderous applause. Senator Charles Schumer, the senior Senator from New York, attended the Ceremonies despite the weather delay. He congratulated the athletes on their accomplishments and wished them the very best in the competitions to come. Local law enforcement officers then came into the arena, still wet from the downpour while they ran the final leg of the Flame of Hope, and with the help of Long Island Athletes Donna Grillotti and Dan Carrochio lit the torch. SONY President and C.E.O. Neal J. Johnson, along with Male Athlete of the Year Paul Asaro, officially opened the Special Olympics New York 2005 Summer Games.
“The competition over the next two days was phenomenal,” said Peter Lawrence, Vice President of Competition. “There were so many great and inspiring moments that it wouldn’t be fair to single out just one. The athletes did what they do best: competed, showed what true sportsmanship is all about and had a great time doing it.”
After two full days of competition the Games came to a close, but only after the gold medal basketball game. “The game was great,” said Johnson. “It was a wonderful opportunity to allow everyone to watch an exciting game that they normally would too busy to see, and the athletes on both the Long Island and Queens teams were great.”
After the game the Closing Ceremonies officially brought an end to a great Summer Games. Peter Lawrence relayed “ I will remember these Summer Games for a very long time to come.”