NORMAN — Special Olympics athletes from 14 areas in Oklahoma are training for the 18th annual state Winter Games, set for Jan. 9-11.
Athletes will compete in aquatics, basketball, bowling and volleyball on Oklahoma City Community College and the University of Oklahoma campuses and in surrounding communities. More than 2,200 Special Olympics athletes are expected to compete at the Winter Games this year.
“Competing at the state level is a big deal. And visiting the OCCC and OU campuses and competing in the facilities college athletes use is a really big deal,” said Donna Ham, Special Olympics
Oklahoma marketing and communication director.
Athletes range in age from 8 and up, with some athletes 80-plus.
“One year, we had bowlers in their 80s. Any age above 8 can compete, so long as they’re physically able,” Ham said.
The State Winter Games will follow the below schedule:
· Aquatics, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Oklahoma City Community College Aquatics Center, 7777 S. May Ave., Oklahoma City. Attendees should take Faculty Circle around to the Aquatics Center and watch for the Special Olympics banner.
· Singles Bowling, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at AMF Boulevard, 3501 S. Blvd., Edmond; AMF Windsor, 4600 NW 23rd St., Oklahoma City; AMF Yukon, 500 E. Main St., Yukon; Holiday Lanes Bowling Center, 44 SE 44th St., Oklahoma City; and Penn 44 Lanes Bowling Center, 2241 SW 44th St., Oklahoma City.
· Volleyball, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the University of Oklahoma Huston Huffman Center, 1401 Asp Ave.
· Volleyball Skills, 10:30 a.m. to noon at the University of Oklahoma Huston Huffman Center, 1401 Asp Ave.
· Opening Ceremonies, 7 to 10 p.m. at Journey Church, 2801 Journey Parkway, Norman. This is closed to the public.
· Doubles Bowling, 9 a.m. to noon at AMF Windsor, 4600 NW 23rd St., Oklahoma City; AMF Yukon, 500 E. Main St., Yukon; and Heritage Bowling Lanes, 11917 N Pennsylvania Ave., Oklahoma City.