With the State Summer Games about to kick off, here are a few fun – maybe even essential – things to know before making your way to UW-Stevens Point for the biggest sports event of the year
- In 2017 SOWI is celebrating its 38th year at the UW-Stevens Point campus.
- This year, 1,377 SOWI athletes will be competing in 62 different events in the categories of athletics (track and field), swimming, powerlifting and soccer.
- As part of our Unified Sports program, 10 Unified teams will be competing in track and field relays with 18 partners teamed up with SOWI athletes for exciting Unified action.
- FREE health screenings! There will be four Healthy Athletes disciplines offered at Summer Games including Health Promotions, Opening Eyes and Special Smiles and Healthy Hearing. All SOWI athletes with a current medical on file are welcome, even if they are not competing at Summer Games. Last year there were over 500 screenings. Let’s top that in 2017!
- SOWI is honored to have Kate Markgraf serve as emcee for the Opening Ceremony. Markgraf earned two Olympic gold medals, an Olympic silver and a FIFA World Cup championship during her career on the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team from 1998-2010. She currently serves as a sports analyst for ESPN, where last year she became the first female broadcaster to cover a major men’s championship in the U.S.
- This year during the Opening Ceremony, the 2nd annual Dennis H. Alldridge Hall of Fame induction will take place. Don’t miss out as the two newest members are revealed and honored!
- For the first time ever, the Opening Ceremony will be broadcast LIVE on Facebook Live. Tune in on June 8th at 7:00pm to see the action live! Also, follow us on social media for up-to-date announcements during the tournament regarding weather and other activities.
- The Opening Ceremony will include guest speaker, Donn Behnke, longtime cross country coach at Stevens Point Area Senior High and author. His book The Animal Keepers tells the true story of his pioneering Unified cross-country team that won the 1985 state championship while featuring Scott Longley, an athlete with an intellectual disability.
- For the 31st year in a row, the Final Leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) for Special Olympics Wisconsin will escort the Flame of Hope to the UW-Stevens Point campus in the days leading up to the Opening Ceremony. Taking place from June 5 right up to the Opening Ceremony on June 8, hundreds of law enforcement personnel – along with supporters, family and friends – will participate in more than 30 communities across Wisconsin.
- You can still volunteer! We are looking for over 700 volunteers to help make the State Summer Games a success. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering please visit our website to register today!
For more information on the State Summer Games, check out our State Summer Games handbook. See you in Stevens Point!