More than 3,000 athletes from 48 states will compete in the US National Games July 18 – 23 in Lincoln, NE. The Games will mark a milestone as the largest event in the history of the state of Nebraska and engage more than 8,000 volunteers, the University of Nebraska and numerous local and national businesses throughout the state.
2010 Special Olympics USA National Games' Athlete Ambassadors who took part in the National Games Community Summit along with over 300 community members, business leaders, and volunteers who came together to learn more about the event and how they can become involved.
The week-long event will feature 13 Olympic-style competitions and other special events such as the Cessna Citation Special Olympics Airlift, Special Olympics Town with Healthy Athletes Screenings and the inaugural National Youth and Education Conference to be held in conjunction with the Games, in neighboring Omaha.
The Cessna Citation Special Olympics Airlift will involve more than 250 private jets taking part in the largest civilian, peacetime airlift in the world. The event will provide an exciting and memorable experience for athletes heading to the USA National Games as corporations and individual Cessna Citation owners donate their Citation business jet(s) and fuel on Saturday, July 17 and Saturday, July 24 to bring Special Olympics athletes to the USA National Games and then back home after the Closing Ceremony.
Healthy Athletes will, again, be a part of Olympic Town, the area designated for family fun and experiential learning. The program will conduct free, vital health screenings from July 19-23 in six areas: Fit Feet (podiatry), FUNfitness (physical therapy), Health Promotion (better health and well-being), Healthy Hearing (audiology), Opening Eyes (vision) and Special Smiles (dentistry). Offered in a welcoming, fun environment, these screenings educate athletes on healthy lifestyle choices and help identify problems that may need additional follow-up when they return home.
The inaugural 2010 Special Olympics National Education Conference will engage teachers in large and small group sessions over four days (July 18-21) in Omaha, Neb. The conference will focus on enhancing knowledge, skills and attitudes to motivate and educate students with and without intellectual disabilities. In addition, participants will examine how Special Olympics Project UNIFY engages youth and deliberate on school climate as well as develop a sports-oriented set of strategies that will identify future leaders of the Special Olympics movement.
Last month, host city, Lincoln, Nebraska held a Community Summit to celebrate 100 days until the start of the Games. The summit provided valuable information to the community about the competitive events and all of the exciting special events associated with the Games. The people of Nebraska rallied around the Special Olympics movement and exuded pride at the important legacy hosting the US Special Olympics National Games will leave behind in the cornhusker state.