Special Olympics State Summer Games moving to Grand Junction
Special Olympics Colorado announced Tuesday that they have partnered with Colorado Mesa University to bring the 2013 State Summer Games to Grand Junction June 1-2.
Previously hosted by the University of Northern Colorado for the past decade, the summer games are the largest Special Olympics sporting event to take place in the state annually. This will be first time that the event has taken place on the Western Slope.
Charlie Monfort, former chair of the board of trustees at the university and Special Olympics Colorado board member, said not only did the CMU have state-of-the-art facilities but also the location would be easier for athletes and their families to access.
We view campus as a community asset and intend to use it in a way that benefits everybody, said John Marshall, vice president of student services. This event, Marshall said, is keeping in that philosophy.
The games will attract 1,100 athletes, 400 volunteers, plus families and sponsors from across the state. Competitions will include track and field, soccer, swimming, gymnastics, and power lifting. All events are free and open to the public.
In addition to athletic events, there will be opening and closing ceremonies, a dance and fireworks.
“It is a tremendously competitive and exciting event,” said Mindy Watrous, president and CEO of Special Olympics Colorado.
In addition to the announcement, a number of donations were given to support the games including $50,000 from Monfort and his family. The Monfort Family Foundation has been a primary sponsor of the games for more than 10 years.
“We’re planning on having this event at Mesa for a long time,” Monfort said.
Other donations included $10,000 from The Colorado Trust, secured by John Hopkins, to support the Games Olympic Town which will be located at the center of campus. Hilltop also gave $5,000.
“We just want to thank everyone for making our dream of holding our games here a reality,” Watrous said, “These are world class facilities and we are thrilled to have our events here.”