Chesterton Tribune



Special Olympics Indiana to hold Virtual Summer Games

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Thousands of Special Olympics athletes will compete remotely in at-home challenges spanning five weeks, beginning with an online Flame of Hope Torch Run and Opening Ceremonies on Friday, June 12.

Engaging athletes, volunteers, and supporters across the state who are unable to gather for in-person competition or events due to ongoing health and safety concerns, Special Olympics Indiana1s 2020 Summer Games Sports & Fitness Challenge will be held virtually from June 12 to July 25.

The extended at-home challenge is presented as an alternative to the 2020 Indiana Summer Game,s originally planned for the weekend of June 12 - 14, beginning with an online Flame of Hope Torch Run event and Opening Ceremonies on Friday, June 12.

The Flame of Hope Torch Run premieres at 9 a.m. EST with additional viewing options at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Opening Ceremonies will begin at 7 p.m. Both events can be viewed free on the organization1s Facebook page or at

“Special Olympics Indiana exists to provide opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to experience the thrill of competition, the joy of inclusion, and the satisfaction of using their abilities to the fullest potential, both on the playing field and off,” said Jeff Mohler, president and CEO of Special Olympics Indiana. “This pandemic has caused our athletes to miss out on many of those experiences for the past three months. And though we are working toward a return to in-person activities as soon as it1s deemed safe, we believe this virtual Summer Games Challenge will encourage athletes to stay active while providing something that we all need right now: hope for the future.”

The Indiana Summer Games is the organization1s largest annual event, drawing nearly 3,000 athletes and several thousand coaches, volunteers, Unified partners, and supporters to Terre Haute each June for three days of state finals competition in eight Olympic-type sports.

With all in-person events suspended through June 30, this year1s Sports & Fitness Challenge will instead invite participants and teams representing Special Olympics Indiana1s county programs to be “Unified by Hope” while completing daily challenges in adapted versions of typical Summer Games events and other activities to earn points throughout the summer.

Challenges will feature activities that athletes can do at home, in their neighborhoods, or in parks or other public areas as allowed, while maintaining social distancing protocols. Elements of track and field, bocce, volleyball, basketball, soccer, nutrition, mental health and general health and fitness will be incorporated.

Awards will be presented to top performers during a Closing Ceremonies and virtual dance party scheduled for Saturday, July 25. The Closing Ceremonies also will be streamed on the organization1s website and Facebook page.

More information about the 2020 Summer Games Sports & Fitness Challenge, the Flame of Hope Torch Run, and the virtual Opening Ceremonies can be found at



Posted 6/10/2020




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