While the Tokyo Olympics have recently ended for many athletes, the competition is just starting to heat up for those at Little City. Though the Special Olympics did its best to hold some competitions during the pandemic, this summer marked the first time in more than a year athletes could once again qualify for state tournaments, and Malorie Solus said her team could not be more thrilled. 

“They are definitely excited,” Malorie said. “The first sport you could qualify for a state event was in golf (in July) and our team did great. We had one gold medal and a couple silvers.”

Little City’s 13-player golf team not only kicked off the return to real competition with a gold and two silvers, but the softball and bowling teams got back into action as well. In softball, the team featured a number of new players who led the squad to a third-place finish while the bowling team had its first event of the year and earned two golds.

“It’s been great to see the excitement. I was surprised with Jeff A.’s gold in bowling. He is usually a swimmer and that is where he wins golds, so for him to go out there and get a gold in bowling was great,” Malorie said. “And Justin N. is just athletic and likes to play so it was great to see him join softball for the first time and play second base.” 

With the golf and softball teams getting Little City’s Special Olympics squad off to a winning start, the focus now turns to volleyball and bocce ball in September. 

The sports with the longest seasons will begin in November with Little City’s two strongest teams in swimming and powerlifting. Malorie said coming out of the pandemic, volunteers are needed to help Little City keep up its winning ways, especially in basketball, powerlifting and bocce ball.

 “Special Olympics is very reliant on volunteers and they are so, so important,” Malorie said. “So we are always looking for people who want to get involved and help our teams.” 

Anyone interested in volunteering with Little City’s Special Olympics program can contact Malorie at msolus@littlecity.org.