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Special Olympics kick off Saturday

Joelle MilholmGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. More than 140 athletes from Glenwood, Craig, Rangely, Vail and Grand Junction will be flooding into New Castle and Silt on Saturday to participate in the Special Olympics Western Area Summer Classic.While the event takes place every year, this is the first time New Castle and Silt will host it.”We have been doing the Summer Classic for probably 15 years,” said Julie Fite, the area manager for Special Olympics Colorado.Sports in the Summer Classic include golf, cycling, bocce ball and tennis.The event will kick off Friday night with dinner and dancing at the Elks Club in Rifle and then Saturday morning, competition begins.Golf is the first event on the schedule, as a group of athletes is set to tee off at Lakota Canyon Ridge Golf Club in New Castle at 7 a.m. Golfers will play nine holes – on Lakota’s back nine.In Silt, competition will kick off at 9 a.m. Bocce ball, which will feature singles and doubles play, and cycling, with a variety of different distance races for all abilities, will take place at Veterans Park. Tennis will also start at 9 a.m., but will be played at Community Center Park. There will be singles and unified doubles, matching up a Special Olympics athlete with a non-disabled person, to test the athletes individual skills.With all sports taking place at the same time, each athlete was asked to pick only one to participate in.Lunch for athletes, coaches and volunteers is slated for noon at Veterans Park. Competition will resume in the afternoon and is expected to wrap up between 2 and 3 p.m.Volunteers are still needed for Saturday’s bocce ball and cycling events. If you are interested in helping out, call Julie Fite at 945-0395.


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