Special Olympics Southern California athletes brought their A-game on Day 1 of the 2017 Fall Games at the Fountain Valley Recreation Center and Sports Park.
More than 900 athletes competed in soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball. Of the sports, tennis was the lone competition that awarded medals.
Highlights included a thrilling, marathon match to close the first day of competition. Anthony Akl (Tri-Valley Burbank) outlasted Paul Hoffman (Orange County) in a 10-7 third set tiebreaker to win the gold medal in level 5 combined singles action. Heidi Sand (San Diego Oceanside) rounded out the division with the bronze.
Sand was among the 26 of 70 Special Olympics Southern California athletes competing selected for the 2018 USA Games, which will be in Seattle. USA Games athletes also included Krystal Johnson, who will compete in track and field, but claimed the gold in level 4 singles tennis action. For full tennis results, click here.
On the soccer field, three teams – competing in blue, red and purple divisions – finished the day with 2-0 records. The Inland Empire Green Mojaves (blue), L.A. Futbol Club (red) and OC Tigers B (purple) sit atop the divisions. For full soccer results, click here.
Five of the six softball divisions also finished the day with 2-0 teams. The Poway Padres (orange), Long Beach Armada (red), Laguna Hills Hawks (purple), Southeast L.A. Lakewood 51s (yellow) and Santa Clarita Valley Tigers (blue) will enter Day 2 undefeated. For full softball results, click here.
Volleyball action featured 12 matches split between the green and blue divisions. South Bay Bump It Up (green) and OC Garden Grove Rebels (blue) led all teams with three wins apiece. For full volleyball results, click here.
Sunday’s competitions will include a fifth sport, a one-day bowling event, to be hosted at nearby Fountain Bowl.