Special Olympics New York State Winter Games Returns to Syracuse Feb. 24 & 25

Volunteers Needed to Support the Games

Syracuse, NY – Nearly 500 Special Olympics New York athletes and coaches from throughout the state will be in Syracuse February 24 & 25 for the 2023 State Winter Games. Area venues will host competition in 6 sports: Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Figure Skating, Floor Hockey, Snowboarding and Snowshoe.

Local officials, Special Olympics New York leaders and athletes are seeking 300 volunteers to support the event. They teamed up in a call for volunteers at a press conference today at the Upstate Medical Arena at Oncenter War Memorial, where some of the local figure skaters were practicing for the Games.

Video from last year’s Winter Games is available HERE for broadcast use.

Volunteers are asked to REGISTER HERE. Those interested in volunteering as a group can send an email to volunteers@nyso.org.

No sports experience is necessary to volunteer. There are a range of jobs for individuals and groups, including set up, parking assistance, meal distribution, athlete escorts, photographers, timers, scorekeepers and more.

“My teammates and I can’t wait for State Winter Games,” said Athlete James Jewett, 38, of Chittenango, who will be competing in Snowshoe. “The competition is always fierce at this level, and we always look forward to seeing our fellow athletes from throughout the state. Please come and volunteer. Thank you, Syracuse!”

“It’s great to be back in Syracuse, where competitive sports are a way of life and the community so clearly values the contributions of people with all abilities,” said President & CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “Join us for State Winter Games and you’ll see why Special Olympics New York has a near 100 percent return rate of volunteers. Our athletes, coaches and fans have a magical way of bringing communities together.”

“I am thrilled that the Special Olympics New York State Winter Games will be back in Syracuse February 24th and 25th,” said Senator John W. Mannion. “We are a community that believes in excellence and inclusion, and we are ready to step up and make these games the best ever. I urge all Central New Yorkers to join me in supporting these games by volunteering and coming out to support these incredible athletes.”

“Onondaga County is proud to partner, once again, with our friends at Special Olympics New York. Nearly 500 of the best athletes, along with their friends and family, will compete in what will surely be the best Winter Games yet!” said Onondaga County Executive J. Ryan McMahon, II.  “I encourage our community to come out and support these amazing athletes and I wish all of them the best of luck.”

“I’m thrilled and honored that our community-based foundation, The Maguire Foundation, will be a proud sponsor of the 2023 Special Olympics New York Winter Games—and its mission toward inclusion, unity, acceptance, empowerment, dignity, pride … and fun!” said Frank Vanderpool, Chief Operations Officer of the Maguire Automotive Group and Committee Member of the Maguire Foundation. “We cannot wait for this year’s competition and want to wish all the athletes best of luck!”

All Special Olympics New York programs, including State Winter Games, are provided at no cost to the athletes or their families. The Games are also free for spectators to attend.

To support the Games either by volunteering or making a donation to help offset the costs of the Games, visit: https://www.specialolympicsNY.org/community/2023-winter-games/.

On Thursday, Feb. 23, Special Olympics New York will host “A Night of Champions” reception to honor local Game Changers and raise funds to support the Games. Discounted tickets are on sale in coordination with today’s announcement, at www.Night-of-Champions.org.

Area venues hosting the State Winter Games are: The OnCenter (Floor Hockey, Opening and Closing Ceremonies), Highland Forest (Cross Country Skiing), Greek Peak Ski Resort (Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding), Thornden Park (Snowshoe) and Upstate Medical Arena at Oncenter War Memorial (Figure Skating).

This is the second consecutive year that Syracuse will host State Winter Games. It will also return in February  2024. Onondaga County is the presenting sponsor of the Games, and the Maguire Foundation is sponsoring Opening and Closing Ceremonies.


About Special Olympics New York

Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 31,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with about 250 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports, where students with and without disabilities compete as teammates. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. The organization has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.com, making it one of the most trusted charities in the business nationally. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit www.specialolympicsNY.org.