DakotaDome will host Special Olympics

DakotaDome will host Special Olympics This year the South Dakota Special Olympics State Winter Games were held on Feb. 4, at the Great Bear Ski Valley and the Minnehaha Ice and Recreation rink in Sioux Falls.

Over 35 athletes competed in the various events including alpine skiing (giant slalom, slalom and super G), speed skating and figure skating. And although these games were wonderful and the excitement felt by the athletes, coaches, volunteers and spectators is only now beginning to fade it is not too early to start thinking about the Special Olympics State Summer Games. While the Winter Games were a fantastic event the Summer Games will be even bigger.

Held for the second year in a a row at the Dakotadome in Vermillion, the South Dakota Special Olympics Summer Games are expected to be one of the state's top sporting events of the summer. If the summer of 1998 is any indication, then South Dakota can be proud of the more than 1,800 athletes, coaches, spectators and volunteers that will once again spend several days in competition and camaraderie.

The Summer Games will be held on May 13-15. There will be a competition in eight sports with a total of 65 different events. The sports include gymnastics, volleyball, team soccer, soccer skills, aquatics, race walking, powerlifting and track and field.

The athletes will take part in much more than the competition as the South Dakota Special Olympics athletes will participate in the traditional opening ceremonies and enjoy two dances that will be held in the Dome during the evenings. The fellowship experienced by each and every participant, athlete, coach, spectator and volunteer is something everyone enjoys.

Special Olympics is a year round program in South Dakota. Those involved include a wide variety of ages from youngsters age 8 and up to seniors in their late 70s. There are actually six state events held throughout the year offering 14 different sports. One unique feature of these events is that the competitions are divided by age, sex and ability.

Volunteers play a critical role in the success of the Summer Games. The state office of the Special Olympics is looking for people interested in taking part of this special event.

If you have an interest please call them at 1-800-585-2114 or you can call the Vermillion Chamber of Commerce at 605-624-5571.

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