STATEWIDE – After weeks of training and anticipation, Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) marked their return to competition this weekend with the State Summer Games presented by SpartanNash.
This year’s State Summer Games featured a hybrid event, with virtual components for several sports and in-person competitions for Track and Field and bocce events. Athletes from around the state trained for weeks to see their hard work culminate in this competition.
For virtual competitions, athletes competed from a list of nearly 12 sporting events they could do from the safety of home including athletics, gymnastics, weightlifting, and fitness activities. As part of the Virtual Games, participants submitted their scores for virtual awards to see how they stack up against others from around the state.
For the in-person competition, several regional competitions were held both in Mount Pleasant and Grand Rapids areas. On Friday, in-person track and field events, including 100M, 1500M, 200M, 400M, as well as mini-javelin, running long-jump, and shotput took place on Central Michigan University's campus, serving as a qualifier for the 2022 USA Games in Orlando, Florida.
“The athletes of Special Olympics Michigan have been training so hard and keeping everyone’s spirit up during the pandemic. It was wonderful to be able to watch some of the athletes return safely to in-person competition, while also having the opportunity to view photos and watch videos of athletes competing virtually.” Tim Hileman, President and CEO Special Olympics Michigan.
On Saturday, both Mt. Pleasant and Grand Rapids held bocce competitions. For these events, Special Olympics Michigan followed Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) guidelines to ensure the health and safety of all participants.
“I am so glad to be back to compete and see my fellow Special Olympians and friends”- Julian Borst, Special Olympics Athlete.