Special Olympics Kansas Returns to Maize South High School to Celebrate Annual Summer Games, June 2-4

(Maize, KS, May 8, 2023) – Special Olympics Kansas (SOKS) will hold its Annual Summer Games at Maize South High School, from Friday, June 2 to Sunday, June 4, 2023. While the very first Special Olympics Kansas Summer Games was a track and field meet held at Parsons State Hospital more than 50 years ago in 1970 hosting a total of 300 athletes, Summer Games has now become the largest statewide competition bringing together more than 1,300 athletes and 300 coaches from across Kansas to compete in 4 sports (track and field, soccer, tennis and cycling).

Soccer, cycling and tennis competitions will take place beginning at noon on Friday, June 2, followed by the Cargill BBQ and Opening Ceremonies at Maize South High School in the evening.

Opening Ceremonies will begin with the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron by the Flame of Hope carried from Wichita City Hall by participants of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR). LETR is a year-round movement to raise funds & awareness for Special Olympics athletes. The LETR began in Wichita in 1981 and ignited into a worldwide movement for Special Olympics. Each year law enforcement officers from across the state volunteer their time to raise funds and awareness for the SOKS athletes through t-shirt and hat donations and unique fundraising events including Polar Plunges, Tip a Cops, World’s Largest Truck Convoy, and a variety of unique events.

On Saturday, June 3, track and field competitions begins at 8:00 a.m. spread out across the Maize South track and campus. The day will conclude with the traditional Victory Dinner and Dance. Final competitions and awards are scheduled to take place between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 4.

The complete Summer Games tentative event schedule is available at SOKS.org/summer-games.

Summer Games will also host Healthy Athletes programs on June 3rd where specially trained Clinical Directors and healthcare volunteers will screen athletes in the disciplines of health promotion, fun fitness, eye, ear, dental, and podiatry. Our Healthy Athletes program provides health services and education to Special Olympics athletes free of charge, and is changing the way health systems interact with people with intellectual disabilities. The program has now made Special Olympics the largest public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities in the world.

SOKS is still seeking volunteers and sponsor/partner support for the event. Volunteers are needed for sports specific roles including but not limited to, score keepers, runners, timers, lane monitors, referees, and more. Little to no experience is required for many roles. Visit SOKS.org/summer-games for more information.

The Special Olympics Kansas Summer Games is supported by the following sponsors:  Club Car Wash, Coca-Cola, Knights of Columbus, Deluxe Checks, Stanion Wholesale Electric Company, Ronald D Deffenbaugh Foundation, Jersey Mike’s, Spirit Aerosystems, Lattner Family Foundation, Dwane and Velma Wallace Foundation, Profit Builders, Textron Aviation, Vess Oil, Cargill, Southwest Dairy Farmers, Wellcare, Koch Industries, Sunflower Health, White Star Machinery, Professional Engineering Consultants, Knights of Columbus 4118, Airbus, and Volunteer Kansas.

For more information about the Summer Games or to find out how you can support the event, contact Special Olympics Kansas COO Chris Burt at 913-600-2240 or burtc@soks.org.


Special Olympics Kansas is dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports competitions, health and nutrition programs and leadership development. Offering year-round initiatives to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics Kansas is a platform for acceptance and inclusion as well as one of the largest advocates for healthy lifestyles in the state – regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or cultural differences.

It is our belief that participation in sports enables challenges and opportunities to be introduced to the participants, teaching them teamwork, decision making, leadership, goal-setting, perseverance, commitment and sportsmanship, while developing self-confidence, self-esteem, character, and integrity.

Find out more at www.soks.org.


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