PRESS RELEASE June-12-2017

Sweeney Celebrates Special Olympics

Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney helped kick off this year’s Special Olympics New Jersey Summer Games this weekend at The College of New Jersey in Mercer County. The event started on Friday with an Opening Night ceremony and continued throughout the weekend with thousands of athletes participating in events ranging from track and field to aquatics.

“The Special Olympics is a wonderful opportunity for those with different abilities to showcase their skills and prove they can lead as complete and fulfilling a life as anyone,” said Senator Sweeney. “For years I have been a proud supporter of the Special Olympics and I want to congratulate SONJ on another amazing Summer Games.”

This year’s event featured nearly 2,500 athletes from throughout New Jersey. The athletes are joined and supported by hundreds of coaches, volunteers, friends and loved ones. New Jersey has a long, successful history with the Special Olympics, including the 2014 Special Olympics U.S.A. National Summer Games.

“Thank you so much to Senate President Sweeney for attending our Summer Games and always lending his support and dedication to both our organization and those with special needs,” said Special Olympics NJ CEO Heather Andersen.

The Senate President also extended his thanks to members of law enforcement who not only volunteered throughout the weekend, but continue to raise significant funds in partnership with SONJ to allow thousands of athletes to participate and excel in life through sport.

Senate President Sweeney entered public service after his daughter was born with Down syndrome. He was horrified at the manner in which individuals with disabilities were treated and set out to make a difference not just in his daughter’s life, but in lives of those in his community. It motivated him to advocate for and pass New Jersey’s Paid Family Leave law, help build schools and parks for individuals with special needs and introduce legislation requiring school districts to provide equal athletic opportunities to students with disabilities, which became law in 2014.