Special Olympics Southern California takes over California State University, Long Beach for the 2017 Summer Games, using a large footprint in and around all of the athletic venues on the northwest side of the sprawling campus. Located just south of the Walter Pyramid will be one of the largest non-competition based compounds of the Games, and also one of the busiest – Healthy Athletes.
The Healthy Athletes Village will be a beehive of activity for the Summer Games on June 10-11, offering free health screenings of all Special Olympics athletes in six disciplines. Those include Fit Feet, FUNFitness, Health Promotion, Healthy Hearing, Opening Eyes and Special Smiles.
The Healthy Athletes Village is open from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 pm on Saturday. Healthy Athletes will also be at the Athlete Dance that evening. It is open on Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. For more detailed Summer Games schedule, CLICK HERE.
Special Olympics Healthy Athletes provides free health exams in a fun, welcoming environment that removes the anxiety that often accompanies a visit to a doctor or dentist. The services are performed by doctors and physicians who have experience working with people with intellectual disabilities. Following the exam Special Olympics athletes will be given referrals on how to treat conditions, information on how to live a healthier and more active life and additional education on basic care in the specific area.
It is through this full scope of care through Summer Games that Healthy Athletes has had the biggest impact.
“Athletes should participate in the Healthy Athletes Program at Summer Games to take advantage of the diagnostic services, which may discover an underlying problem that could be a somewhat minor annoyance, all the way to a life threatening condition,” said Dr. Richard Mungo, a clinical director for the Special Smiles discipline. “We all know the story of Dustin Plunkett, world spokesperson for Special Olympics, and how a dental examination through visiting the Special Smiles venue at one Games [led to] the discovery of oral cancer. The examination saved his life. The referral to an oral surgeon gave him the opportunity to rid himself of the cancer and to go on to tell the world about Special Olympics.”
The Healthy Hearing service provided the chance for athlete Michelle Core to hear out of her right ear for the first time. She now encourages other athletes to go use the Healthy Athlete services.
“Hearing was holding me back, and that’s why I say Special Olympics has done a lot for me. I’m very grateful,” said Michelle. “All they need to do is go to the Healthy Athletes venue at the Summer Games this year and stay there. Let them check out your eyes, your feet, your hearing. Just go.”
There will be plenty of on-site incentives for the athletes to visit the Health Athletes Village. Giveaways will be offered at each area, including a special wristband from each discipline and unique giveaways at each tent. In addition, raffle tickets are available for those athletes who visit at least three of the disciplines. Raffle prizes include gift baskets for a family movie night, family game night, Nike gear for both a male and female athlete, and sports equipment. There will also be giveaways for five AMC movie ticket packets and five Jamba Juice gift cards.
To top it off is a grand prize of two tickets to the Coldplay concert.
Sorry, the prizes are just for Special Olympics Southern California athletes. However, encourage them to go to all six disciplines and maybe they will share the prizes with you. For more information on Healthy Athletes, visit SOSC.org/HealthyAthletes.
About Summer Games
One June 10 and 11, the passion of sports will be on full display during the 2017 Summer Games at California State University, Long Beach. More than 1,100 athletes from across Southern California will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals and ribbons. The games feature six ports – aquatics, track & field, basketball, bocce, golf, and gymnastics. Along with six sport venues, the Game include live music, games, law enforcement and sponsor booths, Young Athletes Festival, free health screenings for athletes through Healthy Athletes and more. The Summer Games are free to the public, and everyone is encourage to come be Fans in the Stands. For more information, visit SOSC.org/SummerGames.