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SPECIAL OLYMPICS TEXAS STATEWIDE

Date of release: 05/16/03

More than 2,900 athletes to compete.
Nearly 1,000 volunteer opportunities are available.

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
Summer Games Media Room (May 22-25)
SWT Bobcat Stadium, Room 105
512.245.6133
Lynn Fleming, 512.491.2928
CELL 512.913.7842 or
Scott Patterson, 512.491.2959
CELL 512.217.8390

SAN MARCOS — More than 2,900 athletes will compete in the 2003 Special Olympics Texas Summer (SOTX) Games in San Marcos, May 23-25, hosted by Southwest Texas State University. This marks the 34th Annual Summer Games for the organization and the return of Special Olympics competition to San Marcos. Previously, Summer Games were held in San Marcos from 1989-1991.

Summer Games is the largest annual competition for Special Olympics Texas.

Southwest Texas University (SWT) will host the games, five of the six sports venues, the Texas Law Enforcement Torch Run, Opening/Closing Ceremonies, Athlete Village and the Victory Dance. Additionally, SWT served as the host of the 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games Training Camp for Team Texas.

More than 3,000 volunteers are needed to make this event run smoothly. Nearly 1,000 volunteer opportunities still remain for day and evening assignments, from May 22 through May 25. To help “Inspire Greatness” in the lives of these athletes, register online at www.specialolympicstexas.org/volunteer or call the volunteer hotline at 1.888.275.2408.

Special Olympics Texas is a privately funded non-profit organization providing year-round sports training and competition for 29,521 adults and children with mental retardation. Athletes must train for a minimum of eight weeks in a sport and compete at the local level prior to advancing to the state games.

All events are open to the public and without charge. Come join the fun and be a “FAN IN THE STANDS” for the 2,900 athletes from across the Lone Star state.

Recycle old cell phones at Summer Games. Bring any old cell phone and drop at a Cingular bin located at any souvenir tent at Bobcat Stadium and other sports venues on campus. For every phone received now through May 31, 2003, Cingular Wireless will donate $5.00 to Special Olympics.

Competition will begin on Friday, May 23 and run through Sunday, May 25. Athletes will be competing in six sports – athletics (track and field), basketball, cycling, gymnastics, soccer and tennis.

Athletics will be held at SWT Bobcat Stadium, Friday, May 23 and Saturday, May 24 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m; and Sunday, May 25 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Basketball will be held at SWT Jowers Center, Strahan Coliseum, Student Recreation Center and San Marcos Activity Center. Competition will be at all locations, Friday, May 23 and Saturday, May 24 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Sunday, May 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

Cycling will be on Saturday, May 24 at River Ridge Park/Butler Tower area of San Marcos from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; if needed/rain Sunday, May 25 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

Gymnastics will be at SWT Jowers Center on Friday, May 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Soccer will be held at SWT Campus Soccer Fields on Friday, May 23 and Saturday, May 24 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Tennis will be at SWT Tennis Courts on Friday, May 23 and Saturday, May 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Equestrian competition was held May 17 and May 18 at Heart of Texas Fair and Rodeo Complex in Waco, with 115 competitors, including three athletes who will join Team USA for World Summer Games equestrian competition in Dublin, Ireland June 21-29, 2003.

Opening Ceremonies will be 7:00-9:00pm, Friday, May 23 at SWT Bobcat Stadium. The Victory Dance and Closing Ceremonies will begin at 7 p.m., May 24 at the same location.

“These games afford everyone an opportunity to participate either as a spectator, volunteer, or sponsor. Watching the face of an athlete will change your outlook on people with special needs. Give us this one day as a volunteer, and we’ll have you in our family for many years to come,” states Margaret Larsen, President of Special Olympics Texas.

Summer Games will be an international event this year, as three delegations from Mexico will compete in basketball. One team is from Durango and two from Zacatecas.

Texas is sending 56 athletes to join Team USA competing in the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games, June 21-29 in Dublin, Ireland. Many of these athletes will also be competing at Summer Games in San Marcos, May 23-25.

More than 500 Texas Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) personnel will convene in San Marcos and run SWT Bobcat Stadium on Friday, May 23 at approximately 10:30 a.m. They will run the stadium and proceed to the

LETR Press Conference at 11:00 a.m. at the SWT J.C. Kellam Building.

These men and women have run from the four corners of the state to help raise money and awareness year-round for Special Olympics Texas athletes.

The Presenting Sponsors of Summer Games are Bank One, Durham School Services and Target. Official Partners of Special Olympics Texas throughout the year are Cingular Wireless, Coca-Cola, GMAC Financial Services, Edelman PR Worldwide, H-E-B and Xerox/Omnifax.

For more information visit the Special Olympics Texas Web site at www.specialolympicstexas.org/competition/summer or call 512.835.9873.