TROY – Troy University will be the site for the 2008 Special Olympics Alabama State Games May 16 - 18 for about 700 athletes with mental retardation and some 350 coaches and chaperons.
It marks the second year in a row TROY has played host to Special Olympics.
“The athletes are very excited to be returning to TROY,” said Dean of Students Herb Reeves, who coordinates the event for the University. “On their behalf, we would like to invite everyone to participate during the weekend but especially at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.”
The Flame of Hope will be lit this year by Special Olympics’ “Athlete of the Year” Carlos Holman of Brent, Ala.
Competitions in 10 sports will be conducted on the Troy Campus and at venues throughout the city of Troy.
The athletes will compete in bocce, equestrian, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, softball, track and field, bowling, golf and power lifting.
The opening ceremonies, during which Special Olympics Torch will be brought into Troy by law enforcement officers from throughout Alabama, begins in Movie Gallery Veterans Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. The ceremonies will include a parade of athletes, the Special Olympics Oath, the lighting of the Flame of Hope and special entertainment.
The games begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday at various venues in Troy: aquatics will take place at the Troy Sportsplex, bocce at the Charles Henderson High School indoor practice facility, bowling at Woodmere Lanes, equestrian at the Pike Cattlemen’s Association, golf at Trojan Oaks Golf Course, gymnastics at the Troy Sportsplex, power lifting in the first-floor Trojan Tower weight room, softball at the Trojan Softball Field, tennis at the Jimmy Lunsford Tennis Complex and track and field events are slated for the Trojan Track. Additionally, “Healthy Athletes” will be at Trojan Arena and the Olympic Town will be housed adjacent to Trojan Arena.
A Victory Dance is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Trojan Arena, and closing ceremonies – including a remembrance for Special Olympians who have died during the year – will begin at 9 a.m. May 18 in Trojan Arena.