On Thursday, June 7 local Milford police officers helped carry the torch that began the 2018 Special Olympics Delaware Summer Games. At 10am the symbolic torch traveled through Milford and was passed onto its final destination, the University of Delaware where the games were held Friday, June 8 through Saturday, June 9. The torch traveled 160-mile beginning Wednesday night in Rehoboth Beach and reached its destination at the athletic complex during the Athlete and Family Barbecue.
Participating in the torch run were over 500 law enforcement officers who created a police escort across the state over the three-day journey. Every law enforcement agency in the state of Delaware was represented during the event.
“The annual Summer Games is the highlight of the year for everyone involved,” said Special Olympics Delaware executive director Ann Grunert. “We take great pride in providing our athletes with a first-class event at which they can display their many athletic talents not only to family and friends, but their fellow Delawareans from the community. They never cease to amaze us … and inspire us.”
The Summer Games is Special Olympics Delaware’s largest sports event. More than 600 athletes and nearly 100 Unified Partners, peers without disabilities, from across the state competed in six sports: aquatics, bocce, powerlifting, softball, tennis, and track and field . In addition, a Motor Activities Training Program demonstration involving children ages 2-7 took place Friday morning in the pool and Friday afternoon on the track.
More than 140 coaches have provided training over the past three months in preparation for the competition and over 1,000 volunteers from DuPont, other corporate sponsors and the community helped make this event possible.
The Opening Ceremony took place Friday at 12:30 pm at the Bob Carpenter Center at University if Delaware as Scott Klatzkin, the Voice of the Blue Hens on 94.7 WDSD, served as emcee. Among the highlights of the ceremony was the parade of athletes and the lighting of the cauldron by the Outstanding Athlete of the Year, Matt Montgomery of the Wilmington Wizards, and the Winnie Spence Torch Runner of the Year, Lieutenant James Diana of the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement.
In addition to competing, athletes had the opportunity to participate in fun, educational and health-related activities at Olympic Village on Friday and at the Healthy Athletes venues on Saturday.
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