FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  – Since 2003, Special Olympics Ohio has held their State Summer Games, especially their Opening Ceremonies, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of the Ohio State University. This year, with Jesse Owens under construction, the kick-off to the organization’s largest state-level annual sporting event is moving to the state’s largest arena, Ohio Stadium. The Opening Ceremonies, which will be held on Friday, June 28th, at 7pm, will include the Parade of Athletes, guest speakers, and the Final Leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which will bring in the Flame of Hope to ignite the cauldron and officially start the Games.  Also, because of the construction, all track and field events are being moved to Upper Arlington High School, 1625 Zollinger Rd, Upper Arlington, OH 43221, for the weekend.

Over 3,300 athletes, Unified partners and coaches will participate in Traditional and Unified Sports competitions at the State Summer Games presented by The OSU Wexner Medical Center. The Games, held June 28-30, include athletics (track & field), bocce, bowling (off-site), gymnastics, powerlifting, soccer, tennis, and volleyball for athletes, as well as Unified Sports® and Healthy Athletes® programs.

“We are so excited to have Opening Ceremonies for our State Summer Games inside Ohio Stadium. I can’t wait to see our athlete’s faces as they parade into the ‘Shoe.’ We are so appreciative of the support from the university, The OSU Wexner Medical Center, as well as our other partners: Marathon, Huntington Bank, Sheetz, Big Lots Foundation, Coca-Cola Consolidated, Rogue Fitness, American Legion- Department of Ohio, Morgan Stanley, The Knights of Columbus, Greenbaum Stiers Strategic Marketing Group, Ohio State Moose Association, and AMVETS. This event is the highlight of the year for many of our athletes as they show off their hard work and training to prepare for this state-level competition. We invite the entire community to come out and witness the spirit, passion, and dedication of our athletes. Prepare to be inspired,” says Jessica Stewart, Special Olympics Ohio’s President and CEO.

In addition to sports competitions, athletes will have access to free health screenings and education through the Healthy Athletes program. Healthy Athletes is not only a program for athletes, but it is also a program for healthcare students and professionals to increase their knowledge of best practices in caring for and communicating with people with ID.

Photos from the 2023 Summer Games can be viewed here.

About Special Olympics Ohio

Special Olympics Ohio is part of the global inclusion movement using sports, health, education, and leadership programs to empower people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Ohio provides year-round sports training and competition in 19 different sports for 20,000 children and adults, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

List of local Programs participating in the 2024 State Summer Games:

Allen County

All-Star Training Club

Ashland County

Ashtabula County

Auglaize County

Belmont County

Butler County

Carroll County

Champaign County

Clark County

Clermont County

Columbus Schools

Coshocton County

Crawford County

Cuyahoga County

Darke County

Defiance County

Delaware County

Dublin City Schools

Elyria City Schools

Erie County

Fairfield County

Fayette County

Franklin County

Fulton County


Greene County

Grove City


Hamilton County

Hancock County

Henry County


Holmes County


Huron County


Knox County

Lake County

Logan County

Lucas County

Madison County

Mahoning Public Schools

Marion County


MBB Middleburg Berea Brook Park

Medina County

Meigs County

Mercer County

Miami County

Montgomery County

Morrow County

Murray Ridge

Muskingum County

New Albany


Olentangy Schools

Ottawa County

Pickaway County

Pickerington City Schools

Portage County

Putnam County

Putnam Public Schools


Richland County

Ross County

Sandusky County

Seneca County

Stark County

Stark Public Schools


Summit County

Tuscarawas County

Union County

Upper Arlington

Van Wert County

Warren County

Washington County

Wayne County

West Licking


Williams County

Wood County


Wyandot County