TROY - Nearly 1,000 athletes and approximately 350 of their coaches and chaperones will compete May 19 - 21 in the Special Olympics Alabama State Games at Troy University.
This year's event marks the 11th anniversary Special Olympians have competed at TROY. This year's theme is "Making a Difference".
The weekend will kick off with the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run on Friday, May 19. Law enforcement officers from all over the state will bring the torch into Troy about 2 p.m. The public is invited to the last leg of the run as it leaves the Troy Police Department and travels along South Brundidge Street to University Avenue and into Sartain Hall.
Competitions will include 10 sports conducted both on the Troy Campus and at venues in the city of Troy, beginning with the opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. May 19 in Trojan Arena. The ceremony will include a parade of athletes, special welcomes and entertainment.
Sporting events begin on May 20 at 9 a.m. at various venues. Sport events include swimming, gymnastics, equestrian, bowling, track and field, softball/baseball, cycling, bocce, flag football and golf. A Victory Dance will be held Saturday night. This year's Victory Dance will features Scot Bruce, an Elvis tribute artist.
Closing ceremonies will be conducted May 20 and will include a memorial service for those athletes who have died in the past year.
Volunteers for the State Games are being sought, said Dean of Students Herb Reeves.
"The athletes are very excited to be returning to TROY," said Dean of Students Herb Reeves. "Not only would we extend an invitation for students and community members to participate in the special ceremonies, but volunteers are very important in order to make this event a success," he said.
"We invite you to visit, cheer or volunteer to assist the athletes in having the best time ever. Your interest and help is greatly appreciated," he said.