Special Olympics Oregon kicked off 2015 with several Winter Games basketball and powerlifting competitions. Unfortunately, the Winter Games Snow Sports competition in Bend had to be canceled due to extreme weather conditions at Mt. Bachelor.
In total, more than 1,800 individuals participated in a winter sport this winter season. Congratulations to all of these athletes and unified partners, and thank you to all of the coaches, volunteers, sponsors and supporters!
Winter Games highlights:
• March 8 – Venues in Beaverton and Hillsboro hosted 40 basketball teams and 50 basketball skills athletes at Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District Athletic Center, Meadow Park Middle School and Liberty High School.
• March 15 – The communities of Stayton and Turner hosted the Project Unify Middle School & High School Unified Sports® basketball tournament which had 37 teams compete at Cascade Junior and Senior High School, Turner Elementary and Stayton High School. This was the first time Special Olympics Oregon has held a stand-alone school based basketball tournament. We expect to see continued growth with more than 50 unified teams participating at this tournament in 2016!
• March 21 - Oregon State University and Corvallis High School served as venues for 67 teams and 80 skills athletes playing basketball and 65 athletes participating in powerlifting. This was the first year for Special Olympics Oregon to have Winter Games events on the Oregon State University campus. The venues were amazing and our athletes were thrilled to be playing there.
• Nearly 200 hard working athletes trained in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing during the season but were unable to compete on March 14-15 due to weather cancelation of Winter Games Snow Sports at Mt. Bachelor.
Summer season training starts soon with regional competitions in athletics (track & field), bocce, golf and softball taking place around Oregon throughout the month of June, with Summer State Games in Newberg on July 11-12, 2015.