Special Olympics Winter Games Kick Off in Austin

The events, including bowling and volleyball, will be held this weekend at locations around the Capital.

By Joy Diaz & Rhonda FanningFebruary 5, 2016 3:06 pm, ,

You know how we Texans love to talk about how big and how great we are in relationship to the world? Maybe we do it because it’s true and, well, because we can.

Truth be told, Special Olympics Texas is up there with the largest Special Olympics Programs in the world. It’s games are set to kick off this weekend in Austin.  A good time, sure, but also serious competition among serious athletes. One reason why the games have become so popular is because they have continued to evolve at a rapid pace.

Suzanne Anderson, vice president of Field Services of the Special Olympics Texas Winter Games, says the winter games have been going on since 1992 with winter sports events: bowling, volleyball and powerlifting. The Winter Games was formed from the Summer Games, when organizers added too many sports to hold in a single event.

“As we grew and starting adding things like golf, equestrian and gymnastics and soccer,” she says. “That summer sports program got a little too big. So we broke off… into our second multi-sport event, which was Winter Games.”

Anderson says their athletes gained confidence and a voice for themselves after competing in the Special Olympics. “They’ve become a voice for their own advocacy and also for our organization,” she says.