Thank you, Syracuse, for giving a “giant hug” to Special Olympics athletes (Your letters)

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For the editor:

Just over a month ago, the community of Syracuse opened its arms and welcomed Special Olympics New York as the host of the 2022 State Winter Games. After two years of living through a pandemic of health that sidelined our athletes for the first time in decades, I cannot overstate what your hospitality has meant to us.

Hundreds of our athletes – children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities from across New York – were celebrated in a spectacular opening ceremony at Oncenter and cheered on at area venues as they competed in six sports. They’ve been set up in area hotels and supported by hundreds of local volunteers who have done everything from building plank-by-plank indoor hockey rinks to spending a cold winter’s day atop Greek Peak – everything this to ensure that our athletes have the competition of their lives. The event was sponsored by Onondaga County and a number of area businesses who share our values ​​of diversity, equity and inclusion.

The whole weekend felt like one giant hug that we won’t soon forget. We’re already counting down the days until next year’s games, February 24-25, 2023, and we hope you are too.

Thank you Syracuse!

Stacey Hengsterman

President and CEO of Special Olympics New York

Clifton Park

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