The Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games are held each year at Penn State University in State College. The event brings together over 2,000 athletes and 750 coaches from across the state. Our largest event of the year, Summer Games features three days of intense competition in aquatics, athletics, basketball, bowling, equestrian, golf, gymnastics, softball and tennis. Every race, every game, every competition held at Summer Games represents many weeks of training, preparation and dedication on the part of our athletes, coaches and volunteers.
47th Annual Summer Games
Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) held its 47th Annual Summer Games at Penn State University in University Park, PA, from Thursday, June 2 to Saturday, June 4, 2016. The event, sponsored by SOPA’s Premier Partner, Sheetz, Inc., drew over 2,000 athletes, 750 coaches and 1,000 volunteers from around the state. This year marked the 29th consecutive year that Penn State University hosted Summer Games, and the 24th successive year that Sheetz, Inc. has served as a state-wide corporate partner. Competition in aquatics, athletics, basketball, bowling, equestrian sports, golf, gymnastics, softball and tennis were the highlight of the three day event.
The "Be a Fan" Torch Run, a 3-day, 150 mile run from Pittsburgh to Penn State University, involved more than 400 members of law enforcement representing over 50 teams from across the state who carried the torch from PNC Park in Pittsburgh on May 31st to Pegula Ice Arena in State College to celebrate and kickoff the 47th Annual Summer Games.
Summer Games also hosted Healthy Athletes programs where health promotion, fun fitness, eye, ear, dental, and podiatry health screenings were offered. Our Healthy Athletes program provides health services and education to Special Olympics athletes free of charge, and is changing the way health systems interact with people with intellectual disabilities. The program has now made Special Olympics the largest public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities in the world.
More than 1,000 volunteers from the community, corporations, schools and universities participated in the event, serving in numerous capacities including officials, athlete escorts, award presenters, and administrative support services.
View Summer Games Images!
Check Out Our Summer Games Media Coverage:
Centre Daily Times (Official Media Partner)
Special Olympics athletes carry friendships off the field
Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games kicks off at Penn State
Special Olympics Summer Games Bring Special Days for Athletes, Community
Penn State News
The 47th annual Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games(Photo Gallery)
Penn State student-athletes volunteer at Special Olympics Summer Games
The Daily Collegian
The Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games
Penn State Student/Athletes Greet Special Olympics Athletes(Photo Gallery)
Nittany Lion Student-Athletes Volunteer at 47th Annual Special Olympics Summer Games
WTAJ-TV (Official Media Partner)
Promoting healthy habits at the Special Olympics
Sheetz Family Award Winner - James Fry from Columbia/Montour
Sheetz Award Winner James Fry from Columbia/Montour stands with Sheetz VP of Transportation and former SOPA Board Chairman Buddy Casado.
The Sheetz Family Award of Excellence recognizes the athlete whose determination and effort can only be understood by the power of the human spirit to overcome obstacles and inspire greatness. It distinguishes the athlete who may not win, but whose courage, sportsmanship, effort and determination is award winning.
James Fry from Columbia/Montour is the oldest athlete in his delegation at age 70, but is also the athlete with the biggest smile and the most determination. Recently his 90 year old mother was placed in a nursing home, leaving him to live by himself. But despite this major life change, he has maintained perfect attendance, participating in every training session held prior to these Games.
James also struggles with vision and hearing problems, but his courage, sportsmanship and effort are still STRONG. During Summer Games, his determination continued to be evident by his performance in the sport of swimming. He may have stumble and fall because of his vision issues, but he gets right back up, cheers his teammates on, and is more concerned about their well being than his own. His energy and enthusiasm have been an inspiration to both his fellow athletes and his coaches. Such a wonderful example of the meaning of the athlete’s oath, “Let me win. But if I cannot win. Let me be brave in the attempt.”