Celebrating Athletic Excellence: A Recap of the 2023 Summer Games Championship at Cal State Long Beach

The city of Long Beach was ablaze with excitement as the 2023 Summer Games Championship unfolded on June 10 and 11 at Cal State Long Beach.

This was our first Summer Games in 4 years, and we are so excited to be back in action! The event brought together 879 talented athletes from across Southern California, who showcased their skills, determination, and unwavering spirit throughout the exhilarating two-day event.

The Summer Games, a highlight of the SOSC’s calendar, served as the culminating event of the Spring season in Southern California. It was an occasion that not only celebrated the remarkable athletic achievements of these exceptional individuals, but also fostered a sense of unity, camaraderie, and inclusivity within the community.

The two action-packed days saw athletes compete in a diverse range of 21 different athletics events, basketball, bocce, flag football, and 22 swimming events. The passionate competitors left no stone unturned, pushing their limits and leaving spectators in awe of their sheer dedication. The level of athleticism on display was truly inspiring, as athletes poured their hearts and souls into every competition.

“I feel great! I feel positive! I’m so excited to be here with my team and my family!” said swimming athlete Sasha Cruz.

Throughout the weekend, the atmosphere at Cal State Long Beach was electric. Athletes were joined by a supportive network of almost 300 LETR (Law Enforcement Torch Run) officers, over 2000 volunteers, and countless fans and family members. Their unwavering encouragement and infectious enthusiasm created an atmosphere brimming with positivity and warmth.

“I volunteer with Special Olympics because I get so much out of it. Watching the athletes, watching their expressions, cheering for them. I’ve been doing it for many years, and nothing is going to change that!” said volunteer Sal Avila.

In addition to the riveting sports competitions, the Summer Games offered an array of captivating activities for all attendees. The event featured live music that set the tone and added to the vibrant ambiance. Interactive games, sponsor booths, and law enforcement exhibits provided visitors with engaging experiences and opportunities to connect with the broader community.

One of the highlights of the Games was the Healthy Athletes program, which offered 812 free health screenings for the participating athletes. This initiative, in collaboration with volunteer healthcare professionals, ensures that athletes receive comprehensive health assessments and assistance, promoting their overall well-being.

The event also catered to the younger audience with skills demonstrations for many Young Athletes. These demonstrations not only showcased the potential of the younger generation but also nurtured their interest in sports, motivating them to pursue their own athletic dreams.

A heartfelt acknowledgment goes to Albertsons Vons and Pavilions for their incredible efforts in preparing 6,000 nourishing lunches for the dedicated athletes and volunteers, while Kiwanis deserves special recognition for their delectable volunteer breakfast on Sunday that fueled everyone for the day. A special shout out is also extended to Kaiser Permanente for their unwavering commitment to sideline care, ensuring the athletes’ safety and well-being throughout the Games.

The 2023 Summer Games Championship was an outstanding success, thanks to the contributions and support of numerous individuals and organizations. The dedication and hard work of the organizers, volunteers, LETR officers, and sponsors were instrumental in creating a memorable and inspiring experience for the athletes. Their selfless efforts exemplified the true spirit of community and demonstrated the power of coming together to uplift and empower others.

Special Olympics Southern California would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in making the Summer Games a resounding triumph. From the athletes who displayed extraordinary skill and determination to the volunteers who dedicated their time and energy, every contribution played a vital role in creating an unforgettable event.



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