Special Olympics R.I. welcomes thousands for Summer Games

SPECIAL OLYMPICS RHODE ISLAND’S annual State Summer Games attracted close to 1,000 athletes and more than 3,000 fans to the University of Rhode Island and Old Mountain Lanes Inc. from May 31 to June 2. / COURTESY SPECIAL OLYMPICS RHODE ISLAND

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – Special Olympics Rhode Island welcomed close to 1,000 athletes and more than 3,000 fans to the University of Rhode Island and Old Mountain Lanes Inc. from May 31 to June 2 for the sports nonprofit’s annual State Summer Games.

Special Olympics received more than $400,000 in direct contributions and in-kind support for the three-day athletic event, which featured track and field, bowling, soccer, swimming and other events.

The donations made the competition possible and allow Special Olympics to continue to offer sports training, competitions and inclusion programs to athletes at no cost to them or their families, the nonprofit said.

“Our State Summer Games is the pinnacle of our athletes’ sports competition each year, and they absolutely knocked it out of the park this year with their determination, resilience, and display of sportsmanship,” Special Olympics CEO and President Edwin R. Pacheco said in a statement. “The event represents so much more for our athletes than a chance to compete under the spotlight and earn medals. It’s an opportunity for them to feel included, accepted, respected and celebrated for who they are and to experience the joy of sports.”

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James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette

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