Athlete, Volunteer and Coach Discuss Their Love for the 2012 State Summer Games
By: Natilie Williams
The excitement from the Special Olympics Michigan 2012 State Summer Games presented by Spartan Stores was evident upon everyone's faces. Yet, Sarah Stark from Roseville in Area 14 (Macomb County) smiled for a reason of her own. Sarah smiled because she saw the athletes having the time of their lives in such a welcoming environment. Nearly 2,600 athletes were present on Central Michigan University's campus in Mt. Pleasant on Friday, June 1 as they competed in various sports.
The inclusive environment was filled with music, smiles and warm hearts. Sarah has attended the State Summer Games for more than 16 years. "I've been coming to the State Summer Games for a long time to watch my brother compete, now I attend the games as a coach," said Sarah. She works in Roseville as a teacher and now brings some of her students to attend and volunteer with the State Summer Games.
Sarah was joyful as she took time to interact and dance with athlete during Closing Ceremonies as "There is no better time of the year for the athletes. They get a chance to see that there is a large population of people just like them," said Sarah.
The Special Olympics Michigan 2012 State Summer Games presented by Spartan Stores is all about the athletes. They show their hard work and dedication proudly as they compete in each sport. The athletes take advantage of the opportunity to meet the other participants that attend. "It is nice to be able to socialize; I look forward to the whole experience and the ceremonies," said Special Olympics Michigan athlete Maggie Wolmverton, of Area 30 (Midland County). Bocce has been Maggie's favorite sport to compete in for the last three years. Even the volunteers were openly thrilled to cheer on the athletes and help out at the 2012 State Summer Games.
Grand Rapids resident and volunteer, Josh Grimaldi said, "The athletes are awesome and have awesome attitudes; I am ready to sign up to volunteer next year!" The generosity of volunteers from all over Michigan allows Special Olympics Michigan to flourish as an organization.
- 5/25: Volleyball Tournament (Carson City, MI 48811)
- 5/30: 2013 State Summer Games (Mount Pleasant)
- 5/31: Wertz Warriors Golf Outing (Macomb)
- 5/31: Rev It Up Ride (Mt. Pleasant)
- 6/2: 7th Annual Office Lounge Golf Outing (Port Huron)
- 6/8: 2013 5K Foam Fest (Shelby Twp., Michigan)
- 6/15: 2013 MWCAA Corporate Cup Relays (Lathrup Village)
- 6/17: Area 8 Golf Invitational (East Lansing)
- 6/18: REO Golf Outing (Northville, MI 48168)
- 6/21: 6th Annual Highlands Golf Classic (Grand Rapids)