Officials of Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) have announced that the 2022 Summer Games at world-renowned Morgan’s Wonderland theme park in San Antonio will be held May 12-15 following postponement of the 2020 and 2021 Games because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know our athletes will be thrilled to compete again in SOTX’s largest competition of the year,” said Tim Martin, SOTX CEO. “Our Summer Games, which are free and open to the public, will involve approximately 10,000 individuals – athletes, coaches and parents from all over Texas, plus volunteers and spectators. This inspiring event will clearly show how much effort and determination our athletes put in to this much-anticipated competition.”
The Summer Games will focus on athletics (track and field), cycling, gymnastics, soccer, tennis and FUNdamental Sports, designed for athletes who are unable to participate in official Special Olympics sports competitions because of their skill and/or functional abilities, Martin said.
In addition to these competitive events, Summer Games highlights will include opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. Friday, May 13, at Toyota Field; an opening celebration for athletes from 8:30 to 10 p.m. May 13 at Morgan’s Wonderland; and a victory dance from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at Morgan’s Wonderland.
Other Summer Games venues are Morgan’s Wonderland Sports, Morgan’s Wonderland Camp, North East Independent School District’s Heroes Stadium, the STAR Soccer Complex, the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute of Teleton USA, Blossom Athletic Center and Rolling Oaks Mall. Martin noted that complete Summer Games information and updates are available at www.SOTX.org/SummerGames.
He added that volunteers will be needed to serve as officials, scorekeepers and award presenters. For information on volunteer opportunities, visit www.SOTX.org/Become-a-Volunteer. During the previous Summer Games, numerous members of San Antonio’s military community provided invaluable volunteer assistance.
Additional Summer Games support will come from the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR), an Olympic-torch-style run that involves hundreds of first responders in a statewide fundraising effort. This year’s LETR will culminate at 11 a.m. Friday, May 13, at the Morgan’s Wonderland Starlight Amphitheater. Both Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar and San Antonio Police Chief William McManus were on hand in support of LETR.
Announcement of the 2022 Summer Games also included remarks by Unified Sports athletes – Charly Adie, Antonia Ryvelme and Victoria Camarillo, all from Tom C. Clark High School. Unified Sports teams enable Special Olympics athletes to participate in sports activities with peers without disabilities.
“We’re delighted that the 2022 Summer Games – one of the largest Special Olympics events nationwide – can proceed again at Morgan’s Wonderland,” said Gordon Hartman, founder and executive chair of Morgan’s Inclusion Initiative, which coordinates planning, fundraising and communications for unique Morgan’s Wonderland and other ventures designed with the special-needs community in mind. “We look forward to a return of the joy and excitement that the Summer Games generated when they were held at Morgan’s Wonderland for the first time in 2019.”
Dr. Brent Fields, Morgan’s Inclusion Initiative CEO, said San Antonio – “Inclusion City, USA” – is ideal for the Summer Games because of its central location as well as its community-wide focus on helping those with physical or cognitive special needs.
SOTX’s Martin thanked the many sponsors that help make the 2022 Summer Games possible – presenting sponsor Pinch A Penny, Morgan’s Wonderland, Baptist Health Foundation, Energy Transfer, United Healthcare, Southwest Dairy Farmers, Whataburger and Spurs Sports & Entertainment. He also recognized SOTX statewide annual sponsors – LETR, H-E-B Tournament of Champions, the City of Richardson, Christi Stanley Foundation, Toyota, Texas Roadhouse, the Knights of Columbus and Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages.
Martin reminded that the SOTX 2022 Summer Games are part of the Inclusion Revolution – Special Olympics’ mission to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities worldwide and create inclusive communities.
About Special Olympics Texas
Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect. SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 58,800 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. To learn more, visit www.SpecialOlympicsTexas.org, or call 800-876-5646. Engage with SOTX on: Twitter @SOTexas; Facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsTX; YouTube.com/specialolympicstexas.
About Morgan’s Wonderland
Non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland, which is completely wheelchair-accessible, is the world’s first theme park designed with individuals with special needs in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment. The Ultra-Accessible™, fully-inclusive park offers more than 25 rides and attractions. It’s located in Northeast San Antonio at 5223 David Edwards Drive, a half-mile west of IH 35 at the intersection of Wurzbach Parkway and Thousand Oaks Drive. For more information, visit www.MorgansWonderland.com or www.InclusionStartsHere.com. Or, call 210-495-5888.