On Tuesday morning athletes, families, and LETR officers met at Morgan's Wonderland to celebrate some exciting news: Special Olympics Texas’ (SOTX) 2021 Summer Games will be held Sept. 19-22 and hosted by Morgan’s Wonderland!
The four-day gathering, which is free and open to the public, is the largest SOTX competition of the year, and it’s expected to attract more than a thousand athletes from all around the state of Texas.
“We are so honored to be back at Morgan’s Wonderland for the second consecutive time,” said Tim Martin, SOTX CEO. “Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we weren’t able to hold the 2020 Summer Games, but we’re back, and the excitement among our athletes is off the charts. It’s safe to say they had their best time yet during the 50th anniversary Games in San Antonio in 2019. We cannot wait to watch them compete again and thoroughly enjoy themselves.”
“We’re delighted and proud to again host one of the largest Special Olympics events in the nation,” said Gordon Hartman, who with wife Maggie created Morgan’s Wonderland and spearheaded other ventures to assist the special-needs community. “We’re also eager to see the athletes return to San Antonio, to compete and to enjoy Morgan’s Wonderland and our new Morgan’s Wonderland Sports complex.”
Summer Games highlights will include Opening Ceremonies on Sunday, Sept. 19, at Toyota Field, a Victory Dance that same evening at Morgan’s Wonderland Sports and a Victory Celebration on Monday evening, Sept. 20, at Ultra-Accessible™, fully-inclusive Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first and only theme park designed with those with special needs in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment.
Another high point will be the inaugural Infinitus (meaning “unlimited”) Games from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Sept. 19 and 20, at new Morgan’s Wonderland Camp, 23215 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.
SOTX athletes will participate in one of five sports: athletics (track & field), cycling, gymnastics, soccer or tennis. Special Olympics athletes across the state have been training for their sport for a minimum of 12 weeks, while also participating at an area-level competition. They will be supported by more than a hundred coaches.
At the conference, Martin announced that Pinch-A-Penny Pool-Patio-Spa (www.pinchapenny.com) will be presenting sponsor for the 2021 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 TeletónUSA, Southwest Dairy Farmers, Whataburger and the North East Independent School District of San Antonio. Statewide SOTX annual sponsors are the Law Enforcement Torch Run, H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Food Town, I.B.C, the Knights of Columbus, the City of Richardson Corporate Challenge, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages and Toyota.
We are still seeking volunteers for the games, who will serve as officials, scorekeepers, award presenters and more. For information on volunteer opportunities, visit www.SOTX/SummerGames. During the 2019 Games, many volunteers came from San Antonio’s military community, said Air Force Brig. Gen. Caroline M. Miller, commander of Joint Base San Antonio. She noted that military members “love to give back to those local communities where we serve.”