Special Olympics Massachusetts Comes To Harvard Athletic Complex

Photo: Mike Macklin/WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — This weekend is the Special Olympics Massachusetts Summer Games at the Harvard University Athletic Complex in Allston.

The competition is the nonprofit's largest event, and it provides an opportunity for adults and children with intellectual disabilities to compete in a variety of sports events in an inclusive environment.

It features 1,400 athletes, 3,000 volunteers, and over 30 different competitions, said Stephen Basden, the director of inclusive city initiatives for Special Olympics Massachusetts.

The events include powerlifting, swimming, soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball, and more. "Track and field is always a big event for us," added Basden.

Photo: Mike Macklin/WBZ NewsRadio

“Coming out of COVID, each year we’re getting back to those pre-pandemic numbers. Having weather like this is unbelievable.”

Saturday was partly cloudy, slightly windy, and in the 70s for most of the day. 

Read More: Bio-Ball Tournament Kicks Off Special Olympics MA Summer Games Weekend

“And being able to use this wonderful campus — it’s really a great way to celebrate these athletes at the beginning of the summer and also showcase how hard they’ve worked over the winter and the spring,” shared Basden.

Photo: Mike Macklin/WBZ NewsRadio

Special Olympics Massachusetts aims to provide people with intellectual disabilities opportunities to develop physical fitness and compete in a variety of Olympic-type sports.

Basden shared the goal behind the Summer Games and other events hosted by the nonprofit. “The theme is absolutely being brave in the attempt," he said.

“The idea is that if these athletes are putting their best foot forward and they’re really putting themselves out there to try to accomplish, there’s a lot of pride in finishing something you start. I think that’s something that our athletes epitomize.”

Special Olympics Massachusetts offers year-round sports training and competitions, serving over 14,000 participants and 380 communities. 

The Summer Games continue on Sunday.

WBZ NewsRadio's Mike Macklin reports.

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