CANTON – Nearly 200 Special Olympians accompanied by SUNY Canton athletes and members of the community took part in the 2014 New York State Special Olympics Summer Games on Saturday on SUNY Cantons campus.
This was the second straight year the institution hosted the North Country Regions games. The day began with the opening parade as the Olympians entered the track in the field house through a Roos tent and took a lap around to the roar of enthusiastic cheers that filled the Roos House.
Three Team USA Winter Olympians from the area also joined in the ceremony headlined by Erin M. Hamlin. The Remsen, NY native made history at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia as she earned the first ever American medal in singles luge, bringing home a bronze medal. Hamlin addressed the athletes prior to the games encouraging them to stay healthy and active.
Christopher G. Mazdzer, Sochi Team USA luge, and Annelies O. Cook, Sochi Team USA biathalon, both from Saranac Lake, officially declared the North Country Region Summer Games open.
The competition began shortly after 10 a.m. and consisted of 17 track and field and basketball events. The events took place in the Roos House, the ice hockey arena and nearby Dana Hall. The event continues to be a tremendous experience for the Special Olympians, the SUNY Canton Athletics department and community as a whole.
Its one of the best days of the year for us, said Athletic Director Randy B. Sieminski. I think we get just as much out of it as the Special Olympians do. They remind us how special it is to compete and enjoy playing sports.