Impact

Special Olympics Summer Games bring 2,000 athletes to Penn State

University Park hosting games for 26th year

Athletes in the track and field competition at the 2013 Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games started the 400 yard pentathlon on the morning of June 7 at the Penn State Track. The 44th Summer Games, hosted by Penn State, are underway and more than 2,000 athletes are competing in a variety of sports at locations around the University Park campus and State College area. Credit: Patrick Mansell / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) opened its 44th annual Summer Games on Thursday evening, bringing more than 2,000 athletes to Penn State for three days of competition.

This marks the 26th consecutive year that Penn State is hosting the Summer Games, which also bring more than 2,500 volunteers and 750 coaches. Athletes will compete in events such as aquatics, basketball, bowling, golf, gymnastics and tennis at various locations on campus, including the White Building, McCoy Natatorium, Snider Agricultural Arena and the Intramural Building.

Hundreds of Penn State faculty, staff and students are expected to volunteer each day, according to event director Ed Gannon; nearly 50 student-athletes, representing eight varsity teams, are volunteering.