Over 1,500 athletes and coaches coming to the Capital Region to compete – All events free and open to the public

Special memorial service to be held during Opening Ceremonies in honor of fallen State Trooper Timothy Pratt

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. –  Siena College will host the 2017 State Summer Games June 16-18, the largest competition of the year in New York for Special Olympics athletes. More than 1,500 athletes and coaches are expected to compete in venues across the Capital Region for the first time in ten years.

“Our State Summer Games is a truly moving and memorable experience for all involved – our athletes, coaches, volunteers, families and friends!” said Neal Johnson, President and CEO of Special Olympics New York. “We are thrilled to once again be holding these games right here in the Capital Region of our great state. Hosted by Siena College and the entire Albany community, our athletes will again share with all of us their incredible courage, determination, sportsmanship and most importantly, their tremendous athletic abilities. Our deepest appreciation goes to Brother Ed Coughlin, the President of Siena College, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, the nearly 1,000 volunteers for the games, and all the companies, organizations and friends who have done so much to make this all happen. We invite everyone to come out and watch our athletes at these games. It’s free, it’s fun and you’ll be glad you did!”

This will mark the first year of a two-year stay at Siena College for the State Summer Games. President of Siena College, Brother F. Edward Coughlin serves as the State Summer Games Honorary Co-Chair along with Albany County Executive Dan McCoy.

“Siena College is honored to be hosting the Summer Games for the Special Olympics,” said Brother F. Edward Coughlin. We look forward to welcoming these athletes to our campus and to the Capital Region and to supporting their endeavors as they strive to achieve their best.”

“I am honored to serve as co-chair for the 2017 and 2018 Special Olympics State Summer Games here in Albany County,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. “By hosting the games we will see inspiring athletes competing in Olympics style summer sports at various venues. I am confident that by working together we can provide a great experience for the athletes, the families and fans.”

The community is invited to attend the Opening Ceremonies, free of cost, beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 16, at Siena College Athletic Field. The ceremonies will feature the customary parade of athletes, a flyover by New York State Police, speakers, entertainment, and members of the law enforcement community carrying the Flame of Hope. The Flame of Hope will light the official cauldron and declare the 2017 State Summer Games open.

Special Olympic Athletes and local law enforcement officers will honor fallen State Trooper Timothy Pratt in a memorial service during the Opening Ceremonies. Trooper Pratt, a 30 year veteran on the force, was killed after he was struck by a car in front of the Wilton Barracks in October 2016.

During the memorial service, Captain Robert Patnaude, Acting Troop G Commander, will present an award to Sue Clark, fiancée of Trooper Pratt. The honorary medal is being presented on behalf of the International Law Enforcement Torch Run Council for Trooper Pratt’s service to Special Olympics New York.

“Tim had been involved in Special Olympics since the early 90’s and over the years really took on a leadership role within the Law Enforcement Torch Run initiative.  He did everything from serve customers at Cops and Lobsters to lead multiple Torch Runs on his infamous motorcycle.  He was a great man who loved helping others and did so with a huge heart and smile”.

Attendees of the Opening Ceremonies will enjoy entertainment from Cindy’s Academy of Dance Competition Team, ending the lighting of the cauldron and a fireworks display.

The athletic competitions will take place Saturday, June 17 in eight Olympic-style sports. Siena College will serve as the main host and competition site for the events, with support from Hudson Valley Community College, University at Albany, The Sage Colleges, World Class Gymnastics, Latham, and Spare Time Bowling Alley. Special Olympics New York invites fans of all ages to cheer on the Special Olympics Athletes

Closing Ceremonies will take place on June 17 at the Callanan Field House on the Siena College Campus beginning at 7:45 p.m. It will be followed by the Victory Dance.

Volunteers are still needed. Capital Region residents who are interested in volunteering during the State Summer Games can register today by visiting the Special Olympics New York website at specialolympicsny.org.

State Summer Games is possible through the generous support of our Gold Level Sponsors: Arnoff Moving & Storage, Chobani, M&T Bank, Mazzone Hospitality; Silver Level Sponsors: Airosmith Development, Berkshire Bank, CSEA, Ed Lewi and Associates, Knights of Columbus, Recovery Sports Grill, SEFCU; Bronze Level Sponsors: Crossgates Mall, Eastern Insurance, Federation Insurance Professionals of NY, NBT Bank, Potratz Advertising, RAD Soap Co., Spiral Design Studios, TD Bank, Up Your Biz, Upside Collective, We Think Advertising and Wrap City.

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