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Special Olympics Missouri to kick off State Summer Games


The Special Olympics Missouri State Summer Games will kick off with an opening ceremony Friday night at Mizzou Rec.

This will be the group's second full event since 2018. All summer games were canceled in 2019 after a tornado hit Jefferson City. In 2020, Special Olympics Missouri was canceled again because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, the games are expected to bring in more than 1,000 coaches, and volunteers from across the state. Anyone who plans to join in on the fun will need to meet either at the University of Missouri or Hickman High School. 

Fans should bring beach gear along as well because SOMO says the theme this year is "Aloha SOMO".

Missourian's interested in volleyball, swimming, powerlifting and track and field will be in for a treat this year because those four sports are all featured. According to a release, volleyball and swimming will be held Friday. This will be followed by a power-lifting competition on Saturday and ending with a track and field competition on Saturday and Sunday. 

Special Olympics Missouri's goal is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competitions for both children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The organization says this gives them an opportunity to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy among several other things.

Special Olympics director Andrew Kauffman also said Thursday, there are a few simple steps to follow for people interested in volunteering this year.

"All you gotta do is go to you'll see a big graphic there. You click on that graphic, it will take you to the volunteer hub and that's where you sign up," said Kauffman.

The organization also plans to hold health and wellness clinics during the three-day event.

A full schedule of events and locations can be found here.

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Kennedy Miller


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