Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) will be hosting its first-ever Virtual Summer Games this May and June. Due to COVID-19, the State Summer Games experience had to be altered and moved to an online format.
The 2020 Virtual Summer Games will be unlike any other competition Special Olympics Missouri has ever put on. It will include opportunities for athletes and Unified Partners to compete in a variety of events from the comfort of their own homes.
From May 16-18, athletes will “compete” by turning in their scores for all of the events in which they are interested in competing (listed below). The results will be announced via Facebook Live at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 6.
Nine events are featured: planking, speed dribble (basketball), standing long jump, run/walk/roll (150 feet), run/walk/roll (75 feet), wall sits, volleyball set/bump, swimming kicks, and soccer juggling. These obviously aren’t SOMO’s traditional events, but these events don’t require much equipment and can easily be done from home. There are modified and Unified divisions for several of the events as well.
The Virtual Summer Games kick off at 7 p.m. Friday, June 5 via Facebook Live, with the Opening Ceremony. The virtual Opening Ceremony will include pieces that would traditionally be in a Special Olympics Missouri Opening Ceremony including the Athlete’s and Coach’s Oath, a Law Enforcement Torch Run, entertainment, a special guest declaring the games officially open, and much more.
SOMO is inviting the general public to take part in these games. Volunteers can record messages of support for the athletes, help fundraise, run in the #SOMOVirtualTorchRun, and tune into the Opening Ceremony June 5 and the recap show on Saturday, June 6. More information for volunteers is below.
Virtual Summer Games schedule and times are as follows:
Training on their own
May 4 – 15
Competition from home
Saturday, May 16 – 18
Friday, June 5 – 7 p.m.
Sports Zone (yoga and health lessons)
Saturday, June 6 – 9 a.m.
Saturday, June 6 – 10 a.m.
End of games recap video
Saturday, June 6 — 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 6 – 7:30 p.m.
The Virtual Summer Games will also include a #SOMOVirtualTorchRun. Every year, thousands of law enforcement officers raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics Missouri through the annual LETR Torch Run. Due to COVID-19, SOMO had to cancel the in-person portion for the State Summer Games and the Torch Run.
In honor of the 35th year of the Torch Run, everyone (law enforcement officers, coaches, families, SOMO athletes, sponsors, etc.) can run/walk/roll 3.5 miles in your neighborhood to participate. Pay $10 to participate; pay/fundraise a total of $35 and you get a shirt.
The official run will take place at 10 a.m., on Saturday, June 6. If you can’t participate on that day, you can take part any other day that week. Regardless of when you run, walk, or roll that week, take pictures and post them to social media with the hashtag #SOMOVirtualTorchRun.
For more information about the #SOMOVirtualTorchRun, please visit www.somo.rallyup.com/virtualtorchrun2020.
Volunteers are a key part of SOMO’s success, and even though this event is happening virtually, there are still ways for volunteers to get involved.
- Record a message of support for our athletes on Fipgrid.
- Purchase your Virtual Summer Games shirt (and other SOMO apparel) in our online store!
- Participate in #SOMOSpiritWeek leading up to the games June 1-5!
- Join us the morning of Saturday, June 6 for yoga and health lessons
- Join us on the evening of June 5 on Facebook at 7 p.m. for our Opening Ceremony!
- You can also join the next night on June 6 for the wrap-up video and dance party!
- Join the #SOMOVirtualTorchRun!
- Raise money and submit your #SOMOVoice video and challenge three friends to do the same!
The Virtual Summer Games would not be possible without the generous contributions of our sponsors. Thank you to our statewide partners: Knights of Columbus, the Law Enforcement Torch Run, University of Missouri System, Casey’s General Store, and Missouri Association of Student Councils.
The platinum sponsor is the Veterans United Foundation, and our gold sponsor is Shelter Insurance.
For more information about the 2020 Virtual Summer Games, please contact Kayla Hull at 573.469.7835 or email [email protected]. Please also visit the Special Olympics Missouri website at www.somo.org/VirtualSummerGames.