Local News

First Day Of Summer Games Over In Raleigh

Posted June 2, 2001 9:49 a.m. EDT

— The North Carolina Special Olympics Summer Games are under way in Raleigh.

Statewide, more than 25,000 people are involved in the year-round training and athletic competition. Only a select few were lucky enough to make it to the state games. Peter Sloop is one of them.

Sloop, 18, was born to be in the water. He has been swimming since he was 5 years old. A member of his high school swim team and a Special Olympics athlete, Sloop is one of 255 swimmers who will be competing in the Triangle this weekend.

In all, 1,700 athletes will participate in everything from track and field to powerlifting and volleyball.

Two years after hosting the 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games, Triangle organizers are still seeing the positive effects. For example, every volunteer slot for this weekend's games have been filled.

However, organizers say they do need more spectators so athletes do not have to compete in front of empty stands.

"What they are going to see is that the athletes have trained for many, many weeks. [and for] many of them, many years in preparation for various competitions like this," says Keith Fishburne,North Carolina Special Olympicspresident.

Sloop says all of that training will pay off this weekend, when he "smokes the competition."

Events will be held at the following locations:

  • NC State University: Paul B. Derr Track, Carmichael Gymnasium, Stewart Theater, Raleigh
  • Pullen Aquatics Center, Raleigh
  • North Raleigh Gymnastics
  • Fred G. Bond Metro Park, Cary
  • The competitions take place Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about theevents, times and locations, call1-800-843-6276.