GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A weekend of competition kicks off Friday with opening ceremonies at the Glens Falls Civic Center at 8 p.m.
More than 1,000 athletes from across New York State have been training since July to compete in seven Fall events: cross country running, soccer, softball, cycling, golf, bocce, and equestrian.
Friday night, families and coaches will pack the stands of the civic center as the athletes parade in. Local law enforcement will do the honors of carrying in the Olympic flame to light the caldron.
Director of Training and Competition, Bill Collins, tells News10 it’s a very moving ceremony. “There’s not a dry eye in the house by the time you’re done seeing these athletes so proud to come to the games,” said Collins.
Collins said these athletes are true competitors. “Most people will think, well isn’t this nice and let’s just have fun. It certainly is fun and full of joy when you see these athletes compete, but make no mistake; they have to train for at least eight weeks with a certified coach. They have to compete at the local level and again at the regional level to come to a big state game,” said Collins.
Collins tells NEWS10, the athletes are divided up by age, gender and ability level. Organizers said the skills they develop help the athletes on and off the field.
Special Olympics New York is a non-profit organization. They work year round to raise money in order to coordinate the events and allow the athletes to train and compete at no cost to them. A week ago NEWS10ABC was at Dunkin Donuts for “Cops on Top.” They joined forces with local law enforcement and took to the roof to raise money for Special Olympics NY.
The games are free and open to the public. Community members are encouraged to pack the stands and cheer on the athletes.
Saturday, October 17th, 8:30am-4:00pm
Bocce: 8:30am – 3:00pm, ADK Dome
Cross Country Running: 9:30am – 1:00pm, Cole’s Woods
Cycling: 8:30pm – 1:30pm, SUNY Adirondack
Equestrian: 8:00am – 3pm, Skidmore College
Golf Team: 8am – 3:30pm, Top of the World, Lake George
Golf Skills: 8am – 3:30pm, Top of the World, Lake George
Soccer Team: 8am – 4:00pm, Morse Athletic Complex
Softball Team: 7:30am – 4:00pm, ADK Dome/ Morse Athletic Complex