Special Olympics Tennessee 2024 State Summer Games Begin

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photo courtesy of Special Olympics

Special Olympics Tennessee’s (SOTN) State Summer Games, presented by Wellpoint Tennessee, returns this week at Lipscomb University, Lipscomb Academy and Centennial Sportsplex. The games will feature six Special Olympics sports with more than 1,100 athletes and Unified Partners from across the state participating.

The competition begins on Friday, May 17, with bocce, Unified volleyball, and track and field. In the afternoon, pickleball and swimming competitions and powerlifting weigh-ins will begin.

The Lifepoint Health Opening Ceremonies for the State Summer Games will occur Friday, May 17, from 6:45 to 8:30 PM at Allen Arena on the Lipscomb University campus. The event will feature a procession of participating athletes, the Athlete and Coach of the Year Awards and a special video message from Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis. The community is encouraged to attend this free event to cheer on Special Olympics Tennessee athletes.

On Saturday, May 18, competitions will begin at 8:00 AM and continue throughout the day. A full schedule of events can be found at www.specialolympicstn.org/summergames.

Thanks to a partnership with Lipscomb University and Academy, Special Olympics Tennessee athletes will compete at athletic facilities throughout the campus.

Law enforcement agencies from across the state will participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run to kick off the event at 3:00 p.m. The run will begin on the Nissan Stadium side of the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge and then commence down Broadway. The run is expected to arrive at Lipscomb University’s campus at 5:15 p.m. Participating departments include the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, Brentwood Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Knoxville Police Department, Memphis Police Department and the Office of Homeland Security. Known as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” into Opening Ceremonies of competitions.

SOTN athletes will also participate in four free Healthy Athletes screenings throughout the event. Opening Eyes will offer free vision screening, and Healthy Hearing will provide comprehensive hearing screenings and follow-up recommendations. Special Smiles offers free dental screenings and instructions on correct brushing and flossing techniques. Fit Feet will offer screenings to evaluate ankles, feet, lower extremity biomechanics, and proper shoe and sock gear to participating athletes.

Throughout the weekend, SOTN athletes will also be treated to group dinners, a victory celebration after the events and much more.

The public is encouraged to attend any of the events to cheer on athletes as they compete. Schedules and venues can be found here.

Registration is also open for Young Athletes, a program for children ages 3 to 10 with and without disabilities. More information can be found here.

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