Alabama State Games returning to TROY after three-year hiatus due to COVID

The Olympic Torch is lit during opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics Alabama State Games in 2017 in Trojan Arena. (TROY photo/Joshua Thurston)

The Olympic Torch is lit during opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics Alabama State Games in 2017 in Trojan Arena. (TROY photo/Joshua Thurston)

After a three-year hiatus due to COVID, nearly 1,000 athletes and some 250 of their coaches and chaperones will compete May 19 – 21 in the Special Olympics Alabama State Games at Troy University. 

This year’s event marks the 11th anniversary Special Olympians have competed at TROY and is the 14th State Games. This year’s theme is “Rise with Us.” 

The weekend will kick off with the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run on Friday, May 19.  Law enforcement officers from all over the state will bring the torch into Troy around 2 p.m.  The public is invited to the last leg of the run as it leaves the Troy Police Department and travels south on Brundidge Street and then east on University Avenue to Trojan Arena.

Competitions will include 10 sports conducted both on the Troy Campus and at venues in the city of Troy, beginning with the opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. May 19 in Trojan Arena. The ceremony will include a parade of athletes, special welcomes and entertainment. 

Sporting events begin on May 20 at 9 a.m. at various venues. Sport events include swimming, gymnastics, equestrian, bowling, track and field, bocce, cheerleading, powerlifting, paddle boarding and golf. Additionally, athletes will have an opportunity to participate in Healthy Athletes and Olympic Town Activities.  A Victory Dance will be held Saturday night. The community is invited to the Victory Dance at Trojan Arena to listen to some music and see some great dancing.

Closing ceremonies will be conducted May 20 and will include a memorial service for those athletes who have died in the past year. 

Volunteers for the State Games are being sought, said Dean of Students Herb Reeves. 

“The athletes are very excited to be returning to TROY,” said Dean Reeves. “Not only would we extend an invitation for students and community members to participate in the special ceremonies, but volunteers are very important in order to make this event a success,” he said. 

To volunteer, contact Reeves at 334-670-3203 or via email at specialolympics@troy.edu

“We invite you to visit, cheer or volunteer to assist the athletes in having the best time ever.  Your interest and help is greatly appreciated,” he said.

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