Despite living in the neighborhood where most of the festivities are being held, I didn’t realize that the USA Special Olympics was be hosted by our very own city at the University of Washington (and beyond). I snagged a photo pass so I would get myself out there and get a first-hand look at the joy and magic that goes into this event. There are regional events as well, but this is the big daddy of them all. Folks from all fifty states compete in swimming, volleyball, basketball, tennis, bocce and more over a six day period and it’s all happening this week. If you’ve decided to take a sweet little staycation at home since the fourth of July is in the middle of the week, then I highly recommend you stop by one of the events. Just walk in and have a seat, you’ll leave with a huge grin on your face and feeling better about the world than you have in a very long time. Several of the events take place on the UW campus in the athletics area (along Montlake near University Village) but if you don’t live close to UW it’s possible you’re still near the action. Swimming and softball is down in Federal Way, bowling is up in Kenmore and soccer is at Seattle University. Check out the Special Olympics website for more info about places and times.
The opening ceremonies were jam-packed with celebs as you might expect including Taye Diggs as the emcee, a few WWE wrestlers dropping some encouragement to the athletes, Nancy Wilson of Heart singing the National Anthem and Marshmellow the DJ and Allen Stone performed sets throughout the day that got everyone up and dancing. Next up on Tuesday, I stopped by the campus (and I plan on more trips the rest of the week) to check some events out and I managed to grab some shots of Washington state’s women basketball team confront Texas, mixed tennis competitions, and women’s bocce. I have a huge set of photos below that’ll have you grinning and ready to head out to the festivities for yourself. This is an incredible opportunity for us all to encourage these amazing athletes and practice a little inclusion… something that’s been more than a little lacking lately. Check back for more!
DAY 2 Special Olympics – Tuesday July 3rd