Colorado Mesa University to Host Special Olympics
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- A big announcement out of Colorado Mesa University is generating excitement on a statewide level.
CMU made it official on Tuesday; they will host Colorado’s Special Olympics Summer Games in 2013.
“They wanted Special Olympics here; they understand the value of Special Olympics being here, and we couldn't have found a better partner,” said Mindy Watrous, CEO of Special Olympics Colorado.
Colorado’s Special Olympics Summer Games is the state's largest Special Olympics sporting event of the year.
As CMU continues to grow, college officials say they’re not only eager to host the games, but they say they’re confident they can put on an event of this magnitude.
“We have so many different assets on this campus that we will be able to accommodate those with special needs,” said John Marshall, vice president of student services at CMU. “These athletes are ready to come and compete on a number of different venues and to be able to offer them these facilities is exciting for us.”
For over the past 10 years, the competition has been held in Greeley.
However, this year CMU will be hosting the games for the first time.
They will be giving individuals with intellectual disabilities in Western Colorado a sense of belonging and accomplishment, while also thrilling Grand Valley parents like Joanne Virgilio.
“We're very excited to have this opportunity,” said Virgilio, whose daughter is competing in the games. “Kali has participated in numerous special education sports throughout her life, but having it here on home turf and having that ability for many families is going to be great.”
The games are expected to draw in nearly 1,100 athletes from across Colorado. They will compete in five different events like track and field, swimming and gymnastics.
“We imagine that there will be at least 3,000 people all told in the community between families, caregivers and volunteers,” said Watrous.
CMU beat out many different venues, and officials from the Special Olympics say the chose the Western Slope college because of its world-class facilities.
The 2013 Summer Games will start on Saturday, June 1, at 10 a.m.