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Archive for Friday, August 13, 2010

Lawrence to bid for 2014 Special Olympics

August 13, 2010

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Lawrence, Kansas: Site of the 2014 Special Olympics USA National Games.

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That’s a dream that the local business community, Kansas University and Special Olympics officials are hoping to transform into reality.

At Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, Chris Hahn, director of the Kansas Special Olympics, will discuss a plan that could bring up to 20,000 athletes and volunteers to the area.

While hosting the national games in Lawence would be a boost to the Douglas County Special Olympics, the biggest draw is the potential $40 million pumped into the local economy.

“That wouldn’t hurt,” said Hahn of the event set for July 19-26 in 2014. The national games are held every four years.

Hahn’s been collaborating with KU, which would host many of the sports — such as swimming, basketball and weight lifting — and with the Chamber of Commerce and local government entities in order to present a bid to convince the event committee that Lawrence is the perfect site.

Lawrence Mayor Mike Amyx said the city will work to make the area as attractive as possible for the committee.

“It’s extremely important that we do what we can to bring this type of event to Lawrence,” he said.

The bid will be submitted in October, and Hahn said Lawrence will be up against a handful of other sites. In 2006, the games were held in Ames, Iowa, and this year, the games took place in Lincoln, Neb. Hahn said Lawrence and KU offer a very similar atmosphere that he hopes will bring the games here.

“We think we have something special at KU and in the city of Lawrence,” he said.

Comments

TrooGrit 3 years, 8 months ago

This would be a huge plus for everyone in this city, difficulties notwithstanding. After all, it's less than a week. I hope this comes to Lawrence, it would be a big win for everyone!

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Robert Rauktis 3 years, 8 months ago

Well, it justifies expenditures on more athletic facilities, that's for sure.

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rcr 3 years, 8 months ago

"Traffic flow will have to be increased before this event can handle 20,000 visitors. I drove downtown yesterday and the vehicle backups were everywhere."

I'm not sure traffic would be that big of an issue. With the event being held during the summer when KU is not in session, I'm thinking traffic wouldn't be a whole lot worse than when KU is in session. Does anyone have a number on how many KU students leave town in the summer?

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 8 months ago

“We think we have something special at KU and in the city of Lawrence,” he said.

---yes. I agree 100%, I hope that we can win this process. it would be wonderful to host the Special Olympics here.

looking at the locations of recent events though, I wonder if we are then at a disadvantage because it would make three sites all in the midwest, the same area of the midwest.

there is an irony about this: KU helping with the bid. KU has in the past been a rather difficult campus and organization for some students with some disabilities.

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50YearResident 3 years, 8 months ago

Traffic flow will have to be increased before this event can handle 20,000 visitors. I drove downtown yesterday and the vehicle backups were everywhere.

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Joshua Montgomery 3 years, 8 months ago

What a great event for the City of Lawrence. It will mean lots of recognition for the city and will bring a lot of out of state money to the community. I really hope we get the event.

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