The 2019 calendar year brings another round of great experiences to Special Olympics Southern California athletes and supporters, and a few returning events.
Throughout the year, WeAreSOSC and our social media channels will be highlighting the people and moments that have shaped the organization’s first 50 years. To start it off, there’s no better place than the beginning, with where founder Rafer Johnson’s vision all started.
Now, here are some highlights and events to look forward to in 2019:
The first culminating championship event of the year will take place March 9 at the Kern County Fairgrounds in Bakersfield.
The season got started Feb. 2 at Special Olympics San Diego County’s regional competition. Orange County (Feb. 9), Kern County (Feb. 16) and Northern Santa Barbara (Feb. 23) will round out the competition schedule heading into the championship event.
Six SOSC athletes and two local Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg runners will spend a week in Abu Dhabi, capital city of the United Arab Emirates, for the world’s largest sports and humanitarian event of the year.
Southern California’s Faith Demos (golf), Tyrone Garrett (track and field), Mark Hanson (tennis), Krystal Johnson (tennis), Sarah Kovacs (track and field) and Jonathan Pierce (swimming) will be among the 7,000 athletes competing from March 14-21 at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games. Joining them will be San Luis Obispo County sheriff Ian Parkinson and retired police Lt. Bill Proll, who will help deliver the “Flame of Hope” to the Opening Ceremony on March 14.
Flag Football Makes Its Debut
After spending 2018 as a demonstration sport, flag football moves into the spring season rotation this year alongside basketball, bocce, swimming, and track and field.
The season, which starts with practices in February, will culminate at the SOSC Summer Games on June 8 and 9 at Cal State Long Beach.
Back in the Fold
Two great fundraisers will make their return later this year.
Over the Edge, a unique event that stands high above the rest, will take place Aug. 10 at the Hyatt Regency Garden Grove. Supporters will rappel down the building to help raise funds for Special Olympics Orange County athletes.
Meanwhile, runners will be glad to know that the We Run the City 5K/10K will return at a date to be determined.
Stay tuned throughout the year for more details on both events.
Inside the SOSC is a blog written by staff member Tracy McDannald. It is a more feature-style approach to looking inside what makes Special Olympics Southern California so unique, so special. It is meant to explore the people and their stories. One word at a time.