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Special Olympics Summer Games Return to Ithaca in June


The largest statewide Special Olympics New York competition of the year will return to Ithaca next month for the third consecutive year. More than 1,200 athletes and coaches from throughout the state will be in the area on June 14th and 15th for the State Summer Games competition in eight sports: Basketball, Bowling, Gymnastics, Powerlifting, Swimming, Tennis, Track & Field, and Volleyball.

450 volunteers from the Tompkins and Broome County communities are being requested to help out with the two-day event. No sports experience is necessary to volunteer. There is a range of jobs for individuals and groups, including set up, parking assistance, meal distribution, athlete escorts, photographers, timers, scorekeepers, and more.

On Friday, June 14, athletes and coaches will travel to Ithaca from throughout the state, coming together for a signature Opening Ceremonies at Ithaca College, beginning at 7 p.m.. Sports competitions will take place all day Saturday, June 15, at Ithaca College (Swimming, Basketball, Gymnastics, Powerlifting, Volleyball); Ithaca High School (Track & Field); Midway Lanes (Bowling); and Cornell University (Tennis), followed by Closing Ceremonies at Ithaca College.

State Summer Games is currently sponsored by: Tompkins County (lead sponsor), Bonide, BorgWarner, Broome County, Cayuga Health System, Challenge Solutions, Chemung Canal Trust Company, Chobani, Coughlin & Gerhart, NYS Department of Civil Service, Gallagher, Guthrie, New York Islanders, NYAble, NYCM Insurance and, New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID).

Special Olympics New York President & CEO Stacey Hengsterman said, “Our athletes can’t wait to return to Ithaca for State Summer Games. They’re looking forward to the competition, first and foremost, but I know they’re also looking forward to seeing the friends they made as volunteers over the last two years. Thank you, Ithaca, for helping us make the 2024 State Summer Games our best yet.”

Ithaca College President La Jerne Terry Cornish said, “Hosting Special Olympics New York has been one of the highlights of our campus over the last several years. Working with these athletes has imbued our spirits with inspiration and gratitude, and I implore the whole community to come out to cheer and volunteer along with us. You will be so glad you did.”

Special Olympics New York Athlete Kelley Snedecker, of Ithaca, said, “My teammates and I can’t wait to go for the gold at State Summer Games. Please come out and volunteer to support our team and all of the athletes.”

Tompkins County Chair Dan Klein said, “Having Tompkins County host Special Olympics New York is an honor for our community. We know that we can add to the great experience that the athletes will have and that the athletes will also add to the great experience that is Tompkins County. I urge area residents to step up to volunteer to help make this event even more successful.”

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