Special Olympics Missouri event to feature five sports, 950 athletes

8 months 1 week 6 days ago October 13, 2016 Oct 13, 2016 Thursday, October 13 2016 Thursday, October 13, 2016 10:23:00 AM CDT in News
By: Joe Gjata, KOMU 8 Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY – Athletes from all over Missouri will gather to compete in the Outdoor Games this weekend in Jefferson City. 

Starting Friday morning, athletes from each of five regions - North, Central, Southeast, Southwest, Kansas City and St. Louis - will represent their area.

“We have five sports: Bocce, flag football, softball, tennis and golf,” coordinator Harrison McLean said.

Event locations include Washington Park and Thomas Jefferson Middle School. The Special Events Missouri website has a complete schedule and map.

Organizers said they are surprised Bocce accounts for a large number of the 950 athletes participating, more than 400. That's second only to softball, which has 500 players on 42 teams.

Annette King and Terri Stephens, both coaches for Mid-Missouri Special Olympics, said Bocce has increased in popularity and competition through sports camps and previous games .

However, with increased demand come challenges of finding a place to practice.

“We actually put in a lot of time, because we have to decide where we’re going to go for practice, how we’re going to get it done and what we need as far as sports equipment,” King said. “it’s never ending; we do sports year-round.”

Stephens said, “We’re very fortunate to come to the Deuce [to practice], and they have two great fields for us to play on.”

King and Stephens will coach 15 athletes in Bocce this Friday.

Team member Jason Boyd said, “The coaches are fun to hang out with and I just love it. We get to talk about strategies like how to bank the ball.”

Boyd said learning new techniques keeps him coming back to play each year.

Lena King, another Bocce athlete, finished in first place last year and said the coaches make practices fun.

“They make me laugh.” King said.

This year, if an athlete receives a gold medal in an event, they could potentially go on to Seattle for the 2018 USA Games.

McLean said one of the first steps in qualifying for the Missouri delegation is to get a gold medal at one of the three state games.

“Gold medal gives them the chance to start qualifying, followed by a nomination process before attending sports camp, which is called selection camp the year before national games,” he said. “We want to get to know athletes on a more personal level, see them in a similar environment, where they are away from home and in a different environment, so we like to see how they are being on their own before we take them half way across the country.”

For now, King and Stephens are focused on making this weekend of competition an enjoyable one.

“All I ever ask of my athletes is that they do their best and good sportsmanship,” Stephens said. I don’t care what they get as long as they do their best and are good sports.”

King said the games are a way for athletes to engage in friendly competition and meet a number of fellow athletes in the state.

“If you have a bad day, they will be the ones that cheer you up, no matter what,” King said. “They’ve got the jokes, just their smile, their hugs. It’s a great thing.”

McLean said the Outdoor Games will feature more than 200 coaches and 400 volunteers throughout the weekend.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri senators won't reconvene until at least after the July 4 holiday to consider legislation on... More >>
4 minutes ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 2:08:26 PM CDT in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY — A manhunt for a suspicious person call ended in an arrest just east of Kingdom City. ... More >>
50 minutes ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 1:22:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia Police officers arrested Joshua Michael McWilliams, 23, of Columbia in reference to Monday night's shots fired call.... More >>
1 hour ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 12:49:00 PM CDT in News
CAMDENTON — Since the start of 2017, the Camden County Sheriff's office reports more than $45,000 worth of roadway signs... More >>
4 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 9:51:00 AM CDT in News
HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities are searching for a southern Missouri inmate who is accused of overpowering a guard and stealing... More >>
4 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 9:25:05 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A judge is upholding a policy barring St. Louis Zoo visitors from entering the site with... More >>
6 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 8:10:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services will offer free HIV testing during normal business... More >>
13 hours ago June 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017 Tuesday, June 27 2017 Tuesday, June 27, 2017 1:00:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Representatives Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, and Martha Stevens, D-Columbia, addressed a forum of about 70 people Monday night, speaking... More >>
15 hours ago June 26, 2017 Jun 26, 2017 Monday, June 26 2017 Monday, June 26, 2017 10:28:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A judge sentenced a Columbia woman found guilty of second-degree murder to 20 years in state prison today.... More >>
18 hours ago June 26, 2017 Jun 26, 2017 Monday, June 26 2017 Monday, June 26, 2017 8:07:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Conventions and Visitors Advisory Board (CVB) gave an informational update regarding MU's plan to rent out... More >>
18 hours ago June 26, 2017 Jun 26, 2017 Monday, June 26 2017 Monday, June 26, 2017 7:37:00 PM CDT in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - Two families have stepped forward in agreement with allegations made about inmate mistreatment at the Moniteau County... More >>
18 hours ago June 26, 2017 Jun 26, 2017 Monday, June 26 2017 Monday, June 26, 2017 7:25:00 PM CDT in News
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is meeting with donors aligned with the Koch brothers. ... More >>
19 hours ago June 26, 2017 Jun 26, 2017 Monday, June 26 2017 Monday, June 26, 2017 7:01:00 PM CDT in News
UPDATE — Columbia Police have arrested Denico Sanchez Crawley, 30, of Columbia in relation to Monday's double shooting on the... More >>
19 hours ago June 26, 2017 Jun 26, 2017 Monday, June 26 2017 Monday, June 26, 2017 6:19:00 PM CDT in News
JENNINGS, Mo. (AP) — A suburban St. Louis narcotics suspect who collapsed during police questioning has died and a police... More >>
19 hours ago June 26, 2017 Jun 26, 2017 Monday, June 26 2017 Monday, June 26, 2017 6:14:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A man drove into Mizzou Arena through a closed gate on the south side early Sunday morning and... More >>
20 hours ago June 26, 2017 Jun 26, 2017 Monday, June 26 2017 Monday, June 26, 2017 5:33:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY - A Kansas City area teenager told police he was high on mushrooms when he crashed his car... More >>
21 hours ago June 26, 2017 Jun 26, 2017 Monday, June 26 2017 Monday, June 26, 2017 4:26:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia College will ban tobacco use on its campus starting in August. This includes traditional products like... More >>
22 hours ago June 26, 2017 Jun 26, 2017 Monday, June 26 2017 Monday, June 26, 2017 3:21:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police are looking for a 15-year-old boy who is suspected of fatally shooting one man and... More >>
23 hours ago June 26, 2017 Jun 26, 2017 Monday, June 26 2017 Monday, June 26, 2017 3:03:18 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 77°
3pm 79°
4pm 80°
5pm 81°
6pm 80°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
2:00p
Judge Alex
2:30p
Judge Alex
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:00p
World of Dance
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
iZombie
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld