Harding University to host 2023 Special Olympics Summer Games

Harding University will host the 2023 Special Olympics Arkansas Summer Games on May 19 and 20. More than 1,400 athletes and coaches are anticipated to attend the event. Athletes will compete in sports including track and field, bocce, swimming, flag football, powerlifting and tennis.

Opening ceremonies will be held at First Security Stadium, located at 1529 E. Park Ave. in Searcy, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 18. The competition will begin on May 19 at 9 a.m. All events will take place at Harding University’s Bison Lane except swimming, which will be held at the Searcy Swim Center, located at 525 Recreation Way. The public is invited to attend the games and support the athletes.

“It is wonderful to be able to welcome the Special Olympics Arkansas Summer Games back to Searcy and to Harding University again this year,” said Dr. John Richard Duke, executive director of the American Studies Institute. “We are so thankful to the many people from our community and to the Special Olympics Staff who help make this event possible. We hope that many will be able to come cheer on the athletes and coaches as they gather from all over Arkansas to compete.”

The Law Enforcement Torch Run began Monday, May 15, commencing a three day journey in which officers will carry the “Flame of Hope” from all four corners of the state. Thursday, May 18, Guardians of the Flame will converge on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol, located at 500 Woodlane St. in Little Rock, to join their flames in a ceremonial lighting of the Final Leg Torch. The Final Leg is a 50-mile continuous run to Searcy which officers will complete by running the Flame of Hope into the opening ceremonies.

For more information, visit SpecialOlympicsArkansas.org. For additional information on Harding events and community services, visit Harding.edu/community.

Harding University is a private Christian, liberal arts university located in Searcy, Arkansas. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, it is the largest private university in the state. Harding’s student body represents students from across the U.S. and more than 50 nations and territories. The University offers more than 110 undergraduate majors; 14 preprofessional programs; more than 40 graduate and professional programs; as well as numerous study abroad opportunities including locations in Australasia, Peru, England, Greece, Italy and Zambia. For more information, visit Harding.edu.

Special Olympics Arkansas is an organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport every day around the state. Through programming in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics Arkansas is changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, solving the global injustice, isolation, intolerance and inactivity they face. Special Olympics Arkansas is providing opportunities for more than 15,000 athletes and 5,000 volunteers in all counties across the state of Arkansas. SpecialOlympicsArkansas.org

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