2,200 Special Olympics Athletes and Coaches Heading for Binghamton

April 4, 2008

2008 State Summer Games is Special Olympics New York’s Largest Competition All Events Free and Open to the Public (SCHENECTADY, NY) – Special Olympics New York has announced that its 2008 State Summer Games will be held at Binghamton University June 12 to 14. More than 2,200 athletes and coaches from across the state will attend the Games, the largest of 400 Special Olympics competitions held annually in New York.

Summer Games competitions include aquatics, basketball, bowling, gymnastics, powerlifting, track & field, tennis and volleyball. Binghamton University is the host venue and will be the site of most competitions. Additional venues to date include Midway Lanes, Aero-Gymnastics, Broome County WMCA, the NYS Armory, and the Broome County DDSO.

On Thursday evening (time TBD), June 12, the pageantry and entertainment of Opening Ceremonies will begin at the Event Center at Binghamton University. This traditional event includes the parade of athletes, the completion of the Law Enforcement Torch Run and the lighting of the Special Olympics Cauldron to signify the start of the Games. Opening Ceremonies and all Summer Games competitions are free and open to the public and parking is available.

“We anticipate an outstanding experience,” said Neal J. Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Special Olympics New York. “On behalf of our athletes, I invite the Binghamton community to join our celebration and support our athletes by attending both the Opening Ceremonies and the competitions. We promise it will be both fun and tremendously rewarding.”

Also participating in the Summer Games will be 150 support personnel, 2000 local volunteers and 400 family members. Athletic competitions on Friday, June 13 serve as divisioning events, followed by medaling events on Saturday, June 14.

Additional offerings during the competitions include Olympic Village and Healthy Athletes; health screenings which help Special Olympics athletes improve their health and fitness, leading to an improved sports experience and well-being. This year’s program includes Fit Feet, FUNFitness, Special Smiles and Health Promotion.

“You have to be happy when you’re chosen for Summer Games,” said aquatics athlete Steve Caruso. “Sportsmanship is one thing they look for in who goes and doesn’t go. How you face up to winning and losing. How well you treat your team. We’re all winners in my book. We all have fun. I know I try my hardest. My slogan is: Never give up, always keep trying. I can’t believe how far I’ve gotten in my life.”

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

The 2008 State Summer Games are made possible through the generosity of state sponsors Knights of Columbus, Civil Service Employees Association, New York State United Teachers and New York Lottery; media sponsors WBNG-TV of Granite Broadcasting, WBNF radio and all Citadel Broadcasting stations and Time Warner Cable; also the Federation of New York Insurance Professionals, BAE Systems, Security Mutual Life, Visions Federal Credit Union and Wegmans Food Markets.

Volunteers Needed for Special Olympics New York 2006 Fall Games

October 1, 2006

Annual Sports Spectacular set for October 6-8 in Binghamton All events free and open to the public Special Olympics New York’s 2006 Fall Games in Binghamton are just a month away and volunteers are needed to fill key roles in support of the competitions. Volunteers are needed to:

Register athletes, set up (and break down) sports venues, present medals, distribute lunches, sell merchandise, and help with the Olympic Village and Victory Dance.

Staff the following athletic venues: bocce, cross country running, cycling, golf, rollerskating, softball, soccer and equestrian.

The deadline for volunteer registration is September 28. For more information on volunteering, please visit www.specialolympicsNY.org and click on Fall Games, email volunteer@nyso.org or call 1-800-836-6976.
To sponsor an athlete through a financial contribution, please e-mail Rebecca Santoli at rsantoli@nyso.org.

“We are pleased to be returning to Binghamton and look forward to the same terrific community support we received at last year’s Fall Games,” said Special Olympics New York President and CEO, Neal J. Johnson. “Whether this support comes from donations of time and energy or financial donations, we are extremely grateful for the community’s contribution to our event.”

More than 1,000 athletes and coaches from across the state will take part in the Fall Games, which will take place at Otsiningo Park, Binghamton University, El Racho De Pas and other facilities throughout greater Binghamton.

The Fall Games is one of three annual state games and one of more than 400 total competitions held each year throughout New York. All events are free and open to the public.

Opening Ceremonies: Friday, October 6 at 8 PM will feature the traditional Parade of Athletes, entertainment and the lighting of the Special Olympics Cauldron.

Athletic Competition: Saturday, October 7 in eight Olympic-style sports. For a detailed schedule visit www.specialolympicsNY.org

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 nearly 40,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Fall Games are made possible through the generosity of statewide sponsors New York Lottery and New York State United Teachers and sponsorships from Raymond Corporation, NBT Bank, New York State Electric and Gas Corporation, Federation of New York Insurance Professionals and Sodexho Campus Services.

1,100 Special Olympics Athletes and Coaches Heading for Binghamton

October 1, 2006

2006 Fall Games is one New York State’s Largest Special Olympics Competitions Final preparations are now beginning for Special Olympics New York’s 2006 Fall Games to be held in Binghamton October 6 and 7. More than 1,100 athletes and coaches from across the state will attend the Games, one of the largest of over 400 Special Olympics competitions held annually in New York. An additional 1,500 family members, volunteers and spectators are also expected to attend. Opening Ceremonies and all Fall Games competitions are free and open to the public.

On Friday, October 6 at 8:00 PM, the pageantry and entertainment of Opening Ceremonies will begin at Binghamton University Events Center. This traditional event includes the parade of athletes, the completion of the Law Enforcement Torch Run and the lighting of the Special Olympics Cauldron to signify the start of the Games. Performances include local vocalist Randy McStine and the Binghamton University Cheerleading Squad. The New York State Police will serve as the Honor Guard and local music instructor Jim Gleason will once again sing the National Anthem.

Fall Games competitions take place on Saturday, October 7, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
The event schedule is:

Soccer, cross country, bocce and softball skills will be held at Otsiningo Park.

Cycling will take place at Kirkwood Industrial Park.

Golf competitions are at Traditions at the Glen in Johnson City.

Softball team competitions will be at BAGSAI in Binghamton

Equestrian is at El Rancho De Paz in Owego.

Rollerskating will be at Skate Estate in Vestal.

Additional offerings during the competitions include Olympic Village and Healthy Athletes; health screenings which help Special Olympics athletes improve their health and fitness, leading to an improved sports experience and well-being. This year’s program includes Fit Feet, Healthy Hearing, Opening Eyes, Special Smiles and Health Promotion.

“We anticipate an outstanding experience,” said Neal J. Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Special Olympics New York. “On behalf of our athletes, I invite the Binghamton community to join our celebration and support the Fall Games by attending both the Opening Ceremonies and the competitions. We promise it will be both fun and tremendously rewarding.”

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

Fall Games are made possible through the generosity of the New York Lottery, Raymond Corporation, Sodexho Campus Services, NBT Bank, Federation of New York Insurance Professionals, HealthNow, NYSEG, New York State United Teachers, Binghamton Convention and Visitors Bureau, Merrill Lynch, Visions Federal Credit Union and CDPHP.

Southern Tier Region Athletes to Compete in 2006 Special Olympics USA National Games

June 28, 2006

Local athletes join Team New York traveling to inaugural event in Ames, Iowa. Special Olympics New York officially announces that 25 athletes from the Southern Tier Region will participate in the first-ever Special Olympics USA National Games, July 2 – 7, 2006, in Ames, Iowa. The 2006 USA National Games will be one of the largest multi-sporting events to happen next year.

The athlete contingent for Long Island will participate in Athletics, Bocce, Soccer and Volleyball. They are just some of 3,000 Special Olympics athletes expected to compete at National Games. They all qualified at last year’s 2005 Special Olympics New York Summer Games at Hofstra University, Long Island and the 2004 Fall Games in Seneca Falls

Special Olympics is a year-round sports organization that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities. With more than 170 million worldwide (approximately 7 million in the United States), people with intellectual disabilities make up the largest disability population in the world. Intellectual disability crosses the lines of racial, ethnic, educational, social and economic backgrounds, and can occur in any family. Currently, Special Olympics is nearly 2 million athletes strong in more than 150 nations around the world.

When ask about how Special Olympics has changed his life, Kristen Dzikiewicz noted “it’s something to look forward to in my life.”

To obtain more information on these local athlete please contact Laurie Kennedy (lkennedy@nyso.org) or Susan MacBryde (smacbryde@nyso.org) for assistance.