San Antonio -- Special Olympics Texas’ (SOTX) 51st Annual Summer Games will be hosted for the second year in a row by Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio—Inclusion City, USA, SOTX officials and partners announced today at the unique theme park.
The event will run from April 30 – May 3, 2020 and is free and open to the public. The four-day gathering is SOTX’s largest competition of the year, featuring over 3,000 athletes from all around the state of Texas.
“We are so honored to be back at Morgan’s Wonderland for the second year in a row,” said Tim Martin, SOTX CEO. “It’s safe to say our athletes had their best time yet during the 50th anniversary Games in San Antonio. Next spring, we expect to see an even bigger turnout, and we cannot wait to watch them compete and enjoy themselves.”
Martin explained that SOTX is “committed to providing year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.”
In 1969, Special Olympics Texas held its first competition, and 2020 will mark the 51st Summer Games, part of the Inclusion Revolution—Special Olympics’ mission to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities (ID) worldwide and create inclusive communities.
The 2020 Summer Games are being presented by The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation, the San Antonio non-profit organization responsible for Morgan’s Wonderland and many other initiatives to help those with special needs. Sponsors of the Games are Spurs Sports and Entertainment, H-E-B, Energy Transfer, Children’s Rehabilitation Institute of TeletónUSA, Southwest Dairy Farmers, Whataburger, North East Independent School District, 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’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 The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation to assist the special-needs community. “We’re also eager to unveil Morgan’s Wonderland Sports, our new complex for competition and fitness that will involve athletes with and without special needs. It’s currently under construction not far from Morgan’s Wonderland.”
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. Competitors will participate in one of five sports: Athletics (track & field), Cycling, Gymnastics, Soccer or Tennis. They will be supported by more than 800 coaches and 3,000 volunteers. Volunteers will serve as officials, scorekeepers, award presenters and more. For information on volunteer opportunities, go to sotx.org/sg19-volunteer, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last spring, many volunteers came from San Antonio’s military community, said Air Force Brig. Gen. Laura Lenderman, commander of the 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio. She predicted an even larger turnout next spring and noted that military members “love to give back to those local communities where we serve.”
Announcement of the 2020 Summer Games also included an appearance by the San Antonio Storm cheer squad, the Beach House Cheer Team and remarks by two Unified Sports athletes – James Ramirez and Jackson Escamilla. Unified Sports teams enable Special Olympics athletes to participate in sports activities with peers without disabilities. In addition, numerous first responders that organize the Law Enforcement Torch Run immediately preceding the Summer Games attended the announcement.
About Morgan’s Wonderland
Non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland, which is completely wheelchair-accessible, is the world’s first theme park designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment. It will celebrate its 10th birthday two weeks before the start of SOTX’s 2020 Summer Games. Morgan’s Wonderland and many other initiatives to help the special-needs community were spearheaded by The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation of San Antonio. For more information, visit www.MorgansWonderland.com.