Celebration ceremony will feature Parade of Athletes, lighting of the cauldron and the Victory Dance for 2,600 competitors and families.

February 01, 2017 | Updated: January 29, 2019

By Steve Helm

Participating athletes, families and members of the community will gather at the Round Rock Sports Center for the 2017 Winter Games Athlete Celebration & Victory Dance on Saturday evening, Feb. 4 from 7:00 – 9:30 p.m. Like an Opening Ceremony, athletes and their delegations will be introduced as they parade into the gymnasium for the celebration event and the lighting of the Winter Games cauldron. The festivities will wrap-up with a dance for the athletes. 

The ceremony will be co-emceed by SOTX Board Chair and H-E-B Unit Director Chad Tywater (Round Rock) along with SOTX athlete and Global Messenger Robert Katocs (Corpus Christi).  Members of The University of Texas football team will make a special appearance to share words of encouragement before declaring the ceremony closed and the Victory Dance open.

Five pairs of athletes and law enforcement officers will exchange a torch, carrying the Flame of Hope”, before it ignites the Games cauldron. Athlete torchbearers represent one of five Texas regions: Ricky Squilla (Round Rock) for the Central Region, Adrianna Soliz (Abilene) for the North, Catherine Young (Lufkin) for the East, Ryan Ruterbories (Corpus Christi) for the South and brothers William and Luke Harmon (Amarillo) for the West.

The 2017 SOTX Winter Games will be held in Austin, Georgetown and Round Rock from Friday, Feb. 3 – Sunday, Feb. 5. More than 2,400 athletes and nearly 200 Unified Partners will compete in Bowling, Powerlifting or Volleyball. All events are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule of events and all information regarding Winter Games, visit www.sotx.org/wintergames

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