June 2 2008
Law enforcement officers will journey 70 miles along U.S. 40 on Friday, June 6, running and bicycling 23 in relay segments to deliver the â€œFlame of Hopeâ€ to Indiana State. The â€œFlame of Hopeâ€ will arrive at ISUâ€™s Marks Field at about 4 p.m.
The torch will arrive at Hulman Center for Opening Ceremonies, where Special Olympics Athlete of the Year Katie Crawford of Indianapolis will light the cauldron with the â€œFlame of Hope,â€ officially opening the 2008 Special Olympics Indiana Summer Games.
Opening Ceremonies will kick off the official competition with a program including a parade of athletes, entertainment by members of Indiana Stateâ€™s Sycamore Basketball Band and Sparkettes, the antics of ISU Mascot Sycamore Sam and the Pacers duo of Boomer and Bowser, a special show by K-9s in Flight and the lighting of the cauldron to open the games. Pacers coach Jim Oâ€™Brien, this yearâ€™s honorary chair, will welcome the athletes, volunteers and spectators in attendance.
Residents of the Wabash Valley will take part in the festivities. Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett will welcome athletes, coaches and fans to the city while members of the Terre Haute community, law enforcement officers and many ISU students and staff members will high-five athletes as they enter Hulman Center. Members of the Terre Haute Police Department will serve in the color guard.
Special Olympics Indiana was organized in 1969 through the efforts of two Indiana State University faculty members. Their leadership resulted in the first Special Olympics Indiana Summer Games, which took place in Indianapolis in 1969. ISU has played an integral role in the history of Special Olympics Indiana, hosting the Summer Games 37 out of 39 years and hosting the organizationâ€™s Menâ€™s State Basketball Tournament since 1971.
Sponsors and supporters of the 2008 Special Olympics Indiana Summer Games include Duke Energy and Duke Energy Foundation, McDonaldâ€™s, Markeyâ€™s Rental & Staging, Indiana Chemical Trust, Wabash Valley Community Foundation, WTWO NewsChannel 2, Crossroads Communications, Terre Haute Convention & Visitors Association, Indiana State University, Kroger, Pepsi, Special Olympics Healthy Athletes, Lions Clubs International, Indiana Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics and the Frederick R. Benson Trust.
EDITORâ€™S NOTE: Media representatives who are planning to attend Summer Games should register to receive credentials on site at the VIP/Media pavilion in Olympic Town, located at the south end of the parking lot next to Wolf Field between Third and Fourth Streets. The Special Guests pavilion will be open on June 6 from noon to 4 p.m., June 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and June 8 from 9 to 11 a.m.
Contacts: Amanda Personett, Special Olympics Indiana, (317) 445-2851 (Cell), or firstname.lastname@example.org
(Opening Ceremonies Only)Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or (812) 841-4137 (cell)
Approximately 2,400 athletes from around the state will compete at Indiana State University in seven sports: aquatics, track and field, bocce, bowling, cycling, horseshoes and volleyball as part of Special Olympics Summer Games June 6-8. Approximately 2,000 coaches and volunteers will assist in events at venues throughout campus, with hundreds of spectators and family members attending throughout the weekend.