Nearly 3,000 athletes with autism, Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities are headed to Nebraska for the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games.
The Summer Games July 18-23 in Lincoln will feature athletes competing in 13 sports - including swimming, soccer, track & field, bowling, golf, bocce, volleyball, gymnastics, tennis, powerlifting and softball.
Organizers have erected a Special Olympics Town for the athletes, 1,000 coaches and 15,000 friends and family members expected to attend.
One feature – a 20-foot-long memory wall where people can write tributes to Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who died last year.
While this national event is huge – and the world Special Olympics next year in Athens will be even bigger, Special Olympics events are held nationwide and around the world. (Sixteen Special Olympics soccer players showed the world just how talented they are during the World Cup.) At any level, as the athletes compete, they change attitudes about intellectual disabilities, and they become more confident and empowered.
Do you have a family member competing in the Special Olympics? Everyone’s a winner in these Games!