Since the 2018 Special Olympic USA Games will be held in Seattle next month, we decided to highlight the games in this month’s Spotlight On. For those who haven’t heard or don’t know the specific details of the games, they will be held in the Seattle area July 1-6, 2018. More than 4,000 participants representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, along with the support of tens of thousands of volunteers and spectators, will compete in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports. The Games will celebrate the Special Olympics movement and its 50th anniversary; promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport; and showcase athletes from throughout the U.S. and the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. They will also highlight Special Olympics’ work in sport, education, health and community-building.
Tell me more about the opening ceremonies? When and where are they being held? What should I expect from them?
The Opening Ceremony will take place on Sunday, July 1, at the University of Washington Husky Stadium. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. and the show will begin at 12:30 p.m. This is the one venue that requires you to purchase a ticket (general admission tickets are $20 and reserved seating is $65). You can buy tickets HERE.
Spectators will be immersed in the spirit of the Pacific Northwest while witnessing ceremonial traditions such as the Parade of Athletes and the lighting of the Special Olympics Flame of Hope. The festivities will also feature music and entertainment by some of today’s hottest artists, including Charlie Puth, Marshmello, Taye Diggs, Allen Stone, Ann Wilson of Heart, Massive Monkees and more. A 2,018-member choir, one of the largest vocal ensembles in Washington State history, will serve as a living backdrop to the show.
How many different sports are part of the games and where can I watch them?
The 2018 USA Games will offer 14 sports in the best sports facilities in the greater Seattle region including the University of Washington, Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, King County Aquatic Center, Willows Run Golf Club, Celebration Park, Angle Lake and Kenmore Lanes. They are: Athletics (Track and Field), Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Flag Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Powerlifting, Soccer, Softball, Stand Up Paddleboard, Swimming, Tennis and Volleyball. The best part…all sporting events are free and open to the public.
Are Unified Sports part of the Special Olympic USA Games and if so, where can I watch them?
Yes, they will be part of the games. Special Olympics Unified Sports® Experiences (USE) is an event that will showcase the abilities of Special Olympics athletes and spotlight the power of inclusive competition, sportsmanship, and friendship to the rest of the world. Participants will include Special Olympics Washington athletes not competing in the 2018 USA Games, USA Games Ambassadors, USA Games partners, celebrities, and other special guests invited to play. The athletes will be competing in volleyball, soccer, flag football and basketball. Click HERE for more information and schedule.
What other activities or events can I attend other than the Opening Ceremony and games?
There are several events happening before and during the games. Are you a Sounders or Mariner fan? There are 2 evenings that you can join the athletes, coaches and support staff for professional Seattle sports! Do you have a child between the ages of 2-7? Check out the Young Athletes Festival which gives the next generation of Special Olympics athletes an introduction to sports and play. Or do you want something less formal? If so, check out the Fan Zone at the Husky Stadium North Plaza where there will be live music, exhibits, and activities entertain athletes and spectators around the Opening Ceremony and competitions. These a just a few ways to participate. Click HERE for a more comprehensive list.
I understand the Games need more than 10,000 volunteers. How do I sign up to be a volunteer?
Yes, for the Games to run smoothly, volunteers are crucial. Volunteers will work in a variety of roles, from helping on the field of play, assisting with food and beverage, working in information stations, guest services, operations, logistics, communications, IT and medical roles. Some roles will be open to the general public and others will require specialized skills and require pre-screening. Click HERE for more information about volunteering or contact [email protected] with questions.
Are there any athletes from the DSC competing and if so, what sports?
Yes, we have several athletes competing in the games! They are gymnasts, Mia Crump, Frannie Ronan and Virginia Wade; stand-up paddle boarder and Ambassador, Devon Adelman; and tennis athlete, Maeson Harper.
If we are forgetting anyone from our community who is competing in the Special Olympics USA Games, please contact us [email protected] so we can add your name to the list and support you during the games!
Check out these links about some of our athletes: