SAN ANTONIO – Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) will stage its 2022 Summer Games in and around world-renowned Morgan’s Wonderland theme park in San Antonio from Thursday, May 12, through Sunday, May 15, following postponement of the 2020 and 2021 Games because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know our athletes are thrilled to be competing again in SOTX’s biggest competition of the year,” said Tim Martin, SOTX CEO. “Our Summer Games, which are free and open to the public, are expected to involve thousands of individuals – athletes, coaches and parents from all over Texas, plus volunteers and spectators. This inspiring event clearly shows how much effort and determination our athletes put in to this much-anticipated competition.”
Festive opening ceremonies will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 13, at Toyota Field, 5106 David Edwards Drive, and will be followed with a celebration for athletes from 8:30 to 10 p.m. at unique Morgan’s Wonderland, 5223 David Edwards Drive. A victory dance from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 14, is also on tap at Morgan’s Wonderland.
Opening ceremonies highlights will include a parade of athletes, special-guest appearances, lighting of the Flame of Hope and fireworks.
The Summer Games will offer competition in athletics/track and field (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), cycling (Saturday), gymnastics (Saturday), soccer (Friday and Saturday) and tennis (Friday and Saturday). Martin noted that the complete Summer Games schedule of events can be found at www.SOTX.org/SummerGames.
Another high point will be the FUNdamental Sports-Infinitus (meaning “unlimited”) Games from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday at new Morgan’s Wonderland Camp, 23400 Cibolo Vista. The Infinitus Games will offer athletes ages 3 and older, who because of their physical and/or developmental abilities, the opportunity to work on foundational motor skills to prepare them for possible competition in official SOTX events.
Also on the busy schedule are a Robotics Showcase from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Morgan’s Wonderland, and the Healthy Athletes health screenings program will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute of Teletón USA, 10839 Quarry Park.
Martin said volunteers are still needed to serve as officials, scorekeepers and award presenters. For information on volunteer opportunities, visit https://www.SOTX.org/Become-a-Volunteer. Numerous members of San Antonio’s military community will provide invaluable volunteer assistance.
Additional Summer Games support will come from the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR), an Olympic-torch-style run that involves hundreds of first responders in a statewide fundraising effort. This year’s LETR will culminate at 11 a.m. Friday, May 13, at the Morgan’s Wonderland Starlight Amphitheater.
“We’re delighted that the 2022 Summer Games – one of the largest Special Olympics events nationwide – can proceed again at Morgan’s Wonderland,” said Gordon Hartman, founder and executive chair of Morgan’s Inclusion Initiative, which coordinates planning, fundraising and communications for Morgan’s Wonderland and other ventures designed with the special-needs community in mind. “We look forward to a return of the joy and excitement that the Summer Games generated when they were held at Morgan’s Wonderland for the first time in 2019.”
Dr. Brent Fields, Morgan’s Inclusion Initiative president and CEO, said San Antonio – “Inclusion City, USA” – is ideal for the Summer Games because of its central location as well as its community-wide focus on helping those with physical or cognitive special needs.
Martin thanked Pinch-A-Penny Pool-Patio-Spa (www.pinchapenny.com) for its presenting sponsorship of the 2022 Summer Games. Hosted by Morgan’s Wonderland, the Games also will be presented by Spurs Sports and Entertainment, H-E-B, Energy Transfer, Children’s Rehabilitation Institute of Teletón USA, Southwest Dairy Farmers, Whataburger and the North East Independent School District of San Antonio. Statewide SOTX annual sponsors are the LETR, H-E-B Tournament of Champions, I.B.C, the Knights of Columbus, the City of Richardson Corporate Challenge, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages and Toyota.
Martin noted that the Summer Games are part of the Inclusion Revolution – Special Olympics’ mission to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities worldwide and create inclusive communities.
About Special Olympics Texas
Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect. SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 58,800 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. To learn more, visit www.SpecialOlympicsTexas.org, or call (800) 876.5646. Engage with SOTX on: Twitter @SOTexas; fb.com/SpecialOlympicsTX; youtube.com/specialolympicstexas.
About Morgan’s Wonderland and Morgan’s Inclusion Initiative
Non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland, which is completely wheelchair-accessible, is the world’s first theme park designed with individuals with special needs in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment. The park offers more than 25 rides and attractions. It’s located in Northeast San Antonio at 5223 David Edwards Drive, a half-mile west of IH 35 at the intersection of Wurzbach Parkway and Thousand Oaks Drive. The success of Morgan’s Wonderland led to the creation of other Ultra-Accessible™, fully-inclusive endeavors of Morgan’s Inclusion Initiative that include Morgan’s Inspiration Island splash park, Morgan’s Wonderland Sports, Morgan’s Wonderland Camp and projects in progress such as the Multi-Assistance Center at Morgan’s Wonderland, or The MAC. For more information, visit www.MorgansWonderland.com or www.InclusionStartsHere.com. Or, call (210) 495-5888.