Special Olympics summer games coming to Apple Valley

With Special Olympics Minnesota set to hold its annual state summer games at Eastview High School in Apple Valley June 23-25, Apple Valley City Council members on May 12 presented Special Olympics representatives with a proclamation declaring June 24 “Special Olympics Day” in the city. (Photo submitted)
Apple Valley City Council members on May 12 presented Special Olympics representatives with a proclamation declaring June 24 “Special Olympics Day” in the city. (Photo submitted)

The public is invited to come and cheer on the competitors at Special Olympics Minnesota’s 2016 Summer Games, which will be held June 23-25 at Eastview High School in Apple Valley.

More than 1,500 Special Olympics athletes, 100 Unified Partners — athletes on teams that mix those with and without disabilities — and 620 coaches from across the state are scheduled to compete, with events that include track and field, volleyball, gymnastics and tennis.

The event’s Celebration Ceremonies will be held Friday, June 24, beginning at 5:30 p.m. with live music by Live Wire. The ceremonies will include the lighting of the “Flame of Hope” by Special Olympics Minnesota LETR members and an Apple Valley athlete, guest speakers, and an athlete parade.

FOX 9 chief meteorologist Ian Leonard is scheduled to emcee the celebration, which will conclude with a dance.

The Summer Games will also host a 5K run/walk on June 24. The urban course will start and finish at Eastview, and online registration is open until noon Thursday, June 23, at specialolympicsminnesota.org/event/summer-games-5k. On-site registration takes place starting at 4 p.m. Friday, June 24, with the race set to begin at 6 p.m. Registration is $25 and includes a T-shirt and race bib. The 5K is sponsored by the Apple Valley Police Department.

Special Olympics Minnesota’s Healthy Athletes program will be at the Summer Games as well. The program is designed to improve athletes’ ability to train and compete in Special Olympics by providing them with free health screenings. The program will run all three days of the games in the event’s Wellness Village station.

Admission is free to all the events. More information is at specialolympicsminnesota.org/events/games/summer-games.