Last week was the 22nd annual Special Olympics Texas Winter Games. More than 2,500 athletes from across the state have been training for weeks to compete. The athletes competed in one of three events all over Austin throughout the weekend.
Special Olympics Texas is not only one of our nonprofit partners, but they are an organization we support through volunteerism. Several of our Crew members volunteered during the games.
One of them was Sarah Maloney, Lodging Manager – Entertainment Division, who spent some time at the Athlete Village. Below she shares her volunteer experience.
Tell us a little about what the Athlete Village was like?
The Athlete Village is a place where athletes can come to have fun either before or after their games. It’s a great place for them to cheer each other on and let loose. They have a karaoke machine with plenty of options to choose from, a band, bike races, bouncy ball races, bowling, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, popcorn, goodies for the kids, massage and flexibility stations. It’s like a big party to help pump the athletes up.
What is your favorite part about volunteering at the Winter Games?
I really liked interacting with the athletes. Seeing the smile on their faces and knowing that they are enjoying every minute. This weekend is all about them and cheering them on.
Have you volunteered at the Winter Games before? If so, when?
Yes, this is my third year volunteering at the Winter Games. I volunteered at the bowling alley during the first two. This was my first year volunteering at the Athlete Village and I really enjoyed it.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about it?
It’s the most rewarding experience to see them so happy. I love that we have the opportunity to give back in more ways than one.
Ways to Get Involved with Special Olympics Texas
- Volunteer: Special Olympics Texas is always welcoming new volunteers. If you’re interested in volunteering, we encourage you to check out their site.
- RoomFunding: We will be launching our new RoomFunding initiative soon. When we do, you’ll be able to book rooms to fund their RoomFunding Project.
- Donate: You can donate to Special Olympics Texas here.
Below are some pictures Sarah took while at the Athlete Village. We hope all of the athletes had a great time. We’ll see you at the Summer Games!