Berkeley, CA (PRWEB) June 19, 2008
More than 900 Special Olympic athletes vied for Northern California Championship titles June 7-8 during the 13th annual Summer Games at The University of California, Berkeley. The weather was perfect for the Games as athletes of all ages and abilities competed for gold in aquatics, bocce ball, tennis, track and field and volleyball. For complete results, go to http://www.sonc.org/summergames
The Summer Games is the largest Special Olympics event held in Northern California each year, with more than 3,000 in attendance. All athletes returned home winners after a weekend of intense competition, fun and a chance to experience a little college life at The University of California, Berkeley. Traveling from 32 counties in Northern California, athletes had to qualify in regional competitions before being selected to represent their delegation at the Summer Games.
"The athletes are amazing, said Jenny Choo, directors of Summer Games for Special Olympics Northern California. "Everyone competed well, there were lots of smiling faces, and everything went smoothly in large part because of our many volunteers and the UC staff."
The Games officially kicked off Friday night with an Opening Ceremony presented by AT&T that featured Country Vocalist Superstar Collin Raye, performing artist David Garibaldi, a parade of athletes, and a visit from Cal's new men's basketball coach Mike Montgomery.
Special Olympics athlete Titor Sandee from San Francisco had the honor of being the final torch bearer and lighting the caldron, as the games were declared "officially open" by John Panagakis who retired this year from 30-plus years of service as a Special Olympics coach and volunteer
Another highlight of the evening was the culmination of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. More than 500 law enforcement personnel ran the torch 738 miles in Northern California to its destination at UC Berkeley. They presented a check in the amount of $875,000 to Special Olympics Northern California CEO Rick Collett.
About Special Olympics Northern California
Special Olympics Northern California is a free year-round sports training and competition program for children and adults with developmental disabilities. More than 13,000 athletes compete in over 170 competitions throughout the region in 19 sports. Find out how you can be a fan and visit http://www.SONC.org
Upcoming Athlete Events
Regional Golf Competitions
July 21, The Villages Golf and Country Club, San Jose
July 28, Haggin Oaks Golf Course, 3645 Fulton Ave, Sacramento
NCAL Golf Championship
Aug. 18, Boundary Oaks Golf Course, Walnut Creek
Regional Softball Competitions
Aug. 23-24, JOBL Baseball Complex, Laura Alice Way, Concord
Aug. 23-24, Freedom Park , Sacramento
NCAL Softball Championship
Sept. 6, Twin Creeks Park, Sunnyvale
Silicon Valley Golf Tournament June 27, Silver Creek Valley Country Club, San Jose
Olympic Club Golf Tournament Sept. 15, Olympic Club, Daly City