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2009 Special Olympics Minnesota Summer Games

More than 1,100 athletes to compete June 18-20 at the University of Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, June 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 1,100 Special Olympics athletes from across Minnesota will compete at the 2009 Summer Games June 18-20. One of five state Special Olympics Minnesota competitions annually, Summer Games includes track and field events at the University of Minnesota's Bierman Athletics Complex (corner of 15th Avenue SE and 5th Street SE), volleyball at the University of Minnesota's Recreation Center (1906 University Avenue SE), tennis at the University of Minnesota's Baseline Tennis Center (1815 4th Street SE) and gymnastics competition at Mini-Hops Gymnastics Club in Minnetonka (131 Cheshire Lane, Suite 100). More than 1,600 volunteers will help make Summer Games possible, and all competitions are free and open to the public.

The 2009 Summer Games Celebration Ceremonies will be held Friday evening, June 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Minnesota's Bierman Field and will include guest speakers, an athlete parade, Minnesota law enforcement personnel and the ceremonial lighting of the "Flame of Hope" by a Special Olympics Minnesota athlete. Law enforcement volunteers will participate in a 2,000-mile Final Leg relay running the flame across Minnesota in the weeks leading up to Summer Games. The 2009 Torch Run will culminate at Bierman Field for Celebration Ceremonies.

Between competitions, athletes will have the chance to spend time in Olympic Town, where they can play carnival games, dance, sing and enjoy stage shows from a variety of Minnesota performers. Athletes can also partake in Healthy Athletes, an initiative designed to increase the health and fitness of people with intellectual disabilities, a medically underserved population. The Healthy Athletes program works to improve access to health care by providing a variety of free screenings, making referrals to local health practitioners and training health professionals and students about the needs of people with intellectual disabilities. The 2009 Summer Games Healthy Athletes Village runs throughout the games and will offer MedFest - an opportunity for current and prospective athletes to receive a free sports physical - as well as Healthy Hearing, Opening Eyes, Special Smiles, Fit Feet, FUNfitness and Health Promotion.

For more information, visit Special Olympics Minnesota's Web site at

Special Olympics Minnesota offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round sports training and competition. Through Special Olympics' athletic, health and leadership programs, people with intellectual disabilities transform themselves, their communities and the world.

                      2009 Summer Games Schedule of Events

    Thursday, June 18
    University of Minnesota Bierman Athletics Complex
    -- Track and Field Competition                      11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    -- Olympic Town                                     Noon - 4 p.m.
    -- Healthy Athletes Village
          Healthy Hearing                               Noon - 3 p.m.
          Health Fair                                   Noon - 3 p.m.
          Fit Feet                                      Noon - 4 p.m.

    Friday, June 19
    University of Minnesota Bierman Athletics Complex
    -- Track and Field Competition                      8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    -- Olympic Town                                     9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    -- Healthy Athlete Village
          FUNfitness                                    9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
          Special Smiles                                9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
          Health Fair                                   9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
          Opening Eyes                                  9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
          Healthy Hearing                               10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
          Blood Glucose Screening                       10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

    Mini-Hops Gymnastics Club, Minnetonka
    -- Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition                  2:45 - 5:30 p.m.

    University of Minnesota Bierman Field
    -- Pre-Ceremonies Entertainment                     5 - 7:20 p.m.
    -- Celebration Ceremonies                           7:30 - 8:30 p.m.

    Saturday, June 20
    University of Minnesota Bierman Athletics Complex
    -- Track and Field Competition                      8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    -- Olympic Town                                     9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    -- Healthy Athletes Village
          Opening Eyes                                  9 a.m. - Noon
          Blood Glucose Screening                       9 a.m. - Noon
          MedFest                                       9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
          Health Promotion                              9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
          Health Fair                                   9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

    University of Minnesota Recreation Center (3rd Floor)
    -- Volleyball Competition                           9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

    Baseline Tennis Center
    -- Tennis Competition                               9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

    Mini-Hops Gymnastics Club, Minnetonka
    -- Artistic Gymnastics Competition                  2:45 - 5:30 p.m.

SOURCE Special Olympics Minnesota
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