Georgia Special Olympics to be hosted in Valdosta

Special Olympics
Special Olympics(MGN)
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 1:13 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority has opened up their community along with their new sports brand, Compete Valdosta-Lowndes to host over 1,000 Special Olympians and coaches for Fall State Games on October 7th and 8th.

Previously, VLPRA has partnered with Special Olympics Georgia for the Fall State Games in Valdosta in 2019. The games were canceled in 2020 but returned in 2021 with modifications due to the pandemic.’

Special Olympic organizers expect this year’s game to have its highest participation since 2019 with 1,500 people including participants, volunteers, coaches, staff, and officials.

The games are scheduled to kickoff at 3 p.m. Friday at Freedom Park with bocce and softball competitions. The opening ceremonies then start at 7:30 p.m. at Field One, concluding with a dance and fireworks.

Games will begin again Saturday at 8 a.m. with bocce, softball, and cycling competitions at Freedom Park and golfing at Quiet Pines Golf Course.

“We are excited to work closely with Special Olympics Georgia to have State Fall Games here in Valdosta and Lowndes County,” said VLPRA’s Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist Sydney Prince.  “Our athletes are thrilled to compete at home and welcome their friends from across the state.”

VLPRA Executive Director, George Page, says that the Miracle Field Complex is one of the biggest draws for Special Olympics competitions.

“We are extremely proud of the park addition as it is truly inclusive for both our local athletes and visitors,” Page said.  “When VLPRA and the Miracle League of Valdosta built those fields, this was our vision: to host events just like State Games.”